Major boost for Zimbabwe's sustainable agricultural development and food security

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The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and FAO have agreed on a four-year initiative to support Zimbabwe’s efforts to address the root causes of poverty and food insecurity, and build resilience against climate change.

The innovative new programme will enable poor vulnerable farming households to improve food security, nutrition and income while strengthening their long-term resilience.

DFID is providing a $48 million (GBP 30 million) package of funding for the FAO-managed programme.

The Livelihoods and Food Security Programme will focus on poverty reduction, but also on addressing specific constraints that smallholder farmers, particularly women, face in boosting agricultural productivity and gaining full access to market systems. It will aim, among other things, at: boosting short-term employment opportunities through safety-net programmes that will help women and men improve nutrition and invest in their farms; improving irrigation infrastructure; linking smallholder farmers with markets; providing enabling environments through policy support and encouraging public and private investments; and, increasing agricultural production and productivity of nutritious foods.

More than 70 percent of Zimbabweans depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihoods, but they face a wide range of challenges, including low productivity; limited market integration; low soil fertility in some regions; the impact of climate change; limited irrigation systems; a lack of smallholder-oriented credit systems; and weak agricultural training and services.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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