Potential impacts of transportation infrastructure improvements to maize and cassava supply chains in Zambia

Junren Wang, Megan Konar, Kathy Baylis, Lyndon Estes, Protensia Hadunka, Sitian Xiong, Kelly Caylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Agricultural supply chains play a crucial role in supporting food security in Africa. However, high-resolution supply chain information is often not available, which hinders our ability to determine which interventions in food supply chains would most enhance food security. In this study, we develop a high-resolution supply chain model for essential staple crops in Zambia, aiming to estimate how improvements in transportation infrastructure would impact food security. Specifically, we simulate district-level monthly consumption, trade flows, and storage for maize and cassava in Zambia. We then conduct a counterfactual case study with low transportation costs, discovering that reducing transaction costs leads to higher aggregate net agricultural revenue and aggregate net expenditure. These results indicate that transportation investments are more beneficial to suppliers than to consumers, with implications for household food security in smallholder agriculture. Our study highlights the potential for infrastructure investments to improve food security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045006
JournalEnvironmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023


  • Zambia
  • food security
  • supply chain
  • transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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