Informal food markets in Zambia: perspectives from vendors, consumers and policymakers in Lusaka and Kitwe
Informal markets play a critical role in providing affordable, accessible and diverse food for the urban poor, while at the same time supporting the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers, traders and vendors. In Zambia, the informal sector is a major source of employment and livelihoods and almost 80% of informal workers are employed in agricultural-related activities.
Based on both qualitative and quantitative research, this discussion paper provides evidence on the current status, perceptions, challenges and policy context of the informal food markets in Lusaka and Kitwe, with the aim of identifying key points for action and policy.
Among the findings are that although policy is biased towards formalisation, informal food markets offer opportunities for livelihoods and income generation, especially for women and young people, and that these markets play a critical role in linking the urban poor to key markets for fruits, vegetables and meat products.