Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page




A major national nutrition intervention, the Community Food and Nutrition Programme evolved in 1987 from the Supplementary Food Production Programme 37. It was intended to improve food production, and to link this to child feeding at the community and household levels. The National Nutrition Unit of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is responsible for the coordination of the programme with support from multisectoral committees at all administrative levels (central to village).

Main objective

To involve and assist communities in high-risk areas to identify their food and nutrition problems and implement appropriate interventions to address the problems.


As the programme is nationwide and there are many confounding factors, it was not possible to measure impact brought about as a result of the programme per se. Moreover, no outcome objectives exist. The most reliable sources of information are the Demographic and Health Surveys. These surveys, undertaken in 1988 and 1996, show an improvement in the prevalence of undernutrition, followed by a decline since 1999, corresponding to the sharp decline of the economy of the country.

The programme has been instrumental in creating awareness on the multisectoral nature of nutrition, which led to the establishment of multisectoral committees and subsequently the formation of the National Food and Nutrition Council and its Secretariat. It has also been instrumental in the revival of the “zunde” 38 , which could be an important mechanism for community mobilization to improve nutrition security.

The programme has been able to promote the development of vegetable gardens and link production to access and child feeding in many villages. However, information on the impact of the interventions cannot be isolated from the impact of other factors that could affect the food and nutrition situation.

Community participation

Based on information gathered, it appears that some activities have been suggested by professionals, especially the extension workers of the Agricultural Technology and Extension Service, followed by dialogue with the communities. There was little evidence of community-initiated actions, except in the case of a few groups. In the case of the “zunde”, from studies done recently and from interviews with two chiefs (one of whom was the first to propose the revival), traditionally community participation could occur out of respect for the chief rather than as an outcome of felt needs. Where a chief commands or enjoys the respect of the people, it was easy for him to mobilize his community, but that does not necessarily imply participation by felt need, unless sufficient sensitization has been undertaken.

Mechanisms to enhance community involvement have not been well established. It was envisaged to use the “triple A” approach but it was not effectively applied except in the case of smaller groups formed to undertake mini-projects. In general, community involvement is neither passive nor active. More effort and time is required to achieve active involvement.


Since assistance from the Swedish International Development Agency came to an end, the Government has continued to cover the budget for nutrition within its given economic limitations and constraints. The budget allocated from the Government treasury for operational cost for nutrition (excluding salaries, and supplementary feeding in emergencies) amount to about US$ 37,000 for the central level and US$ 44,000 for each province. In addition, there are special funds from other sources channelled directly to the provinces. Given the economic situation of the country, the allocation made for nutrition is commendable.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and constraints/threats (SWOC)






The Community Food and Nutrition Programme has come a long way. It is now one of the main national programmes to enhance food security and improve nutrition. The infrastructure to support interventions is there, though weak, and the Government has established a separate line budget for nutrition within its capacity. So while the programme may not be as effective as one would wish, it has survived and is likely to be sustained. A positive impact, however, may be hard to achieve under the current economic stress and absence of donor funds.

Lessons learned


The Community Food and Nutrition Programme (CFNP) is part of the overall nationwide nutrition security programme. Hence, it was not possible to single out the management, the resource allocation, and the institutional arrangements for the CFNP alone. Consequently, the assessment looked at the CFNP within the context of the overall nutrition security programme of the country.

Owing to limitations of time and logistics, field visits were made to districts in two provinces only, where the programme has made better progress: Sanyati and Kadoma districts in Mashonaland West, and Makoni district in Manicaland province. Several villages were visited, activities were observed, focus group discussions held and interviews conducted with concerned officials, programme managers, community leaders, traditional chiefs, and field workers.


Based on the national census of 1992, and an annual population growth rate of 3.1 percent, the population of the Republic of Zimbabwe was estimated to be 12,327,886 in 1996 (CSO, 1998) 39. The country has three agro-ecological zones favourable for diversified agriculture (farming and animal husbandry) in varying degrees, ranging from the high production areas with annual rainfall of 750-1,000 mm to the less productive areas with less than 600 mm of rainfall.

Administratively, the country is divided into eight provinces, 57 districts and many wards. Each district has on average about 28-30 wards and each ward is made up of about seven or eight villages. A village has a population of roughly 200-250 households, is subdivided into smaller units called “kraal” of roughly 50-80 houses under a kraal headman. The kraal could be a convenient structure for community-based interventions, because it is of a manageable size for effective communication and interaction between field workers and community members.

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 90 percent of the rural population. It accommodates 70 percent of formal and informal employment and 40 percent of export earnings. There is much disparity in land distribution. An estimated 47 percent is under large-scale commercial farming owned by a few white farmers while 49 percent is devoted to small-scale farming (up to 150 hectares per person). The remaining small portion, less fertile and drought prone, is left for the majority of the population (Agri-Optima, 2000). Owing to this disparity, land reform has been a serious issue in the country since independence reaching its violent peak in the last two years. Recently, the Government passed the controversial "land redistribution and resettlement bill" and many resettlement activities are under way.

Zimbabwe’s economy has declined over the last decade, with a sharp drop in the last three years. Economic growth declined from 8.2 percent in 1996 to 3.7 percent in 1997, 1.5 percent in 1998 and less than 1.2 percent in 1999 (CSO, 2000). Health expenditure declined from 3.1 percent of the GDP in 1990 to 2.1 percent in 1996, in the context of the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDs and a decline of donor funds.

According to the 1995 annual Poverty Assessment Survey Study (CSO, 1995), 42 percent of the citizens were classified as "very poor" (earning less than the level of income which people need to meet their basic food needs) with communal area residents having the highest level of poverty (71 percent). In a sample survey conducted in 2000 (Agri-Optima, 2000), 89 percent of the interviewed households reported food shortages for almost the whole year. The rate of inflation has been alarming (Agri-Optima, 2000). The Zimbabwe currency (ZW$) has been devalued from 2.27 in 1989 to 38 in 1999 and by November 2001, it had fallen to about 56 against the US dollar. As a result, the price of food and other basic commodities has been on constant increase. The government has tried to regulate prices by introducing by-laws, without, however, producing any meaningful effect so far.

These factors directly affect the household’s food security and nutrition, with the highest impact being on the poor segment of the population. Sustainability of the CFNP and expectation of reduction in the prevalence of undernutrition should be viewed against this background.

Nutrition situation

Zimbabwe was one of the countries with a relatively lower prevalence rate of stunting in sub-Saharan Africa, with occasional increases in the prevalence of wasting as a result of drought events. Looking at prevalence trends within the country using data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS, 1999), there was an improvement in the early 1980s, followed by a worsening of the situation since 1998. There has also been an increase in the incidence of low birth weight, one of the important proxy indicators of maternal undernutrition.

Table 1: Prevalence of stunting and underweight, 1992-1999


Stunting %
(<-2 Z-scores)

<- 2 Z-scores)



















Sources: (1) MOH-CW National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 1997-2007
(2) UNICEF: State of the World’s Children 2000
* Special survey in 10 representative districts

Table 2: Incidence of low birth weight (<2.5 kg)





















Sources: (1) MOH-CW National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 1997-2007
(2) UNICEF: State of the World’s Children 2000

It is important to note that the declining trend in the nutritional status follows the rapid decline of the economy. This indicates that unless the economy stabilizes, meaningful reduction of undernutrition will be hard to achieve no matter what interventions are put in place.


Development of the CFNP

Soon after independence, a nation wide Supplementary Feeding Programme was initiated by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which was intensified with the involvement of more donor agencies following the severe drought that hit the southern states of Africa in 1991/1992. Gradually, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MOH-CW) took over the management with major financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency - SIDA (Tagwireyi and Greiner, 1994).

In 1984, the programme was evaluated and the following suggestions were made:

As a result, some re-orientation measures were implemented, and the name was changed to Supplementary Food Production Programme to portray these changes.

Following another evaluation in 1987, the name was once again changed to the current Community Food and Nutrition Programme (CFNP). SIDA support to the programme came to an end around 1998 with some left over money to carry on some of the activities. The Government provided funds, with a few NGOs, such as CARE, operating in specific areas. The intention was to continue the community-based supplementary feeding using foods grown locally by groups, but it did not survive long except in few communities. Thus, gradually the vegetable gardens became sources of food and income generation for individual families rather than for community feeding programmes. This shift may be desirable so long as it contributes to the improvement of household food security and child feeding, but it is not clear that this has been achieved.

There is evidence from a few mini-projects within the programme that demonstrate that the production and access aspects have been realized where the group farm approach has been successful (see Appendix 1 for an example of such achievements), but there is lack of quantitative information to show the effects of changes in access on improving the food consumption and nutritional status of children of such families, compared to children of families who did not engage themselves in such ventures. The provincial nutritionists interviewed are fully aware of the gap and have finalized arrangements to do a series of studies shortly.

Main objective

To involve and assist communities in high-risk areas identify their food and nutrition problems and implement appropriate interventions to address the problems.

Specific objectives 40

Note: There is no objective on expected reduction in the prevalence of undernutrition.


The programme has two major strategies:

The entry point used for the implementation was to sensitize communities to form groups or to strengthen existing groups41, and provide them with inputs and technical support depending on the nature of the project. While maintaining the group approach, members can opt for either individual projects or group projects. In most cases, the individual project with shared services is preferred (see Appendix 1, an example of the group approach).


The programme integrates a number of activities.


The overall coordination and facilitation of the programme is the responsibility of the National Nutrition Unit (NNU) of the MOH-CW. At the national level, a multisectoral Food and Nutrition Task Force was formed, chaired by the Agricultural Technology and Extension Service (Agritex) Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the NNU as the Secretariat.

It is worth noting that the Task Force was initiated by a group of concerned professionals from various ministries through the tireless efforts of the NNU. It had no legal recognition. Despite that, the group has been commended for creating awareness of the multisectoral nature of nutrition to the decision-makers. This ultimately led to the establishment of a National Food and Nutrition Council with its Interim-Secretariat in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance. Discussion is currently under way to place it higher up in the hierarchy. Progress is slow, but appears to be solid.

At the subnational levels (provincial to village) Food and Nutrition Management Teams (FNMT) were formed and recognized as subcommittees under the development committees. The members of the FNMT included heads of the concerned sectoral offices, NGOs and traditional chiefs as ex-officio members. The functions of the committees are essentially to coordinate plans and programmes, to mobilize communities and resources, and to monitor implementation.

In the first few years, the committees were very active and effective, but then gradually declined. The reasons given by those interviewed were:

It is worth noting that although the committees are less active, a very good collaboration has been established between the most directly concerned sectors: health, agriculture, education and community development at all levels, especially at the field level. The fact that all government offices at the provincial and district levels are housed in the same building, has also contributed to informal communication between the heads and technicians of the concerned sectors. The CFNP has benefited from such forms of communication.

The approach to implementation has been through group farms. Some groups were initiated and formed by Agritex while others emerged independently. Half the groups failed to survive. A study found that 58 percent of the failure to survive was attributed to lack of leadership and lack of group coherence as expressed both by members of unsuccessful groups and extension workers (Musizvingoza, 2000). Groups that have performed well tended to have individual plots within a given fenced area (Appendix 1), but with communal services. The programme had funds to support groups with farm implements, but after SIDA support came to an end, the focus has largely been on consolidation of the already formed groups, whilst also searching for other sources of funds. The groups that have been able to survive continue to receive technical support from Agritex. The technical support from the MOH-CW is inadequate due to lack of district nutritionists, which is the crucial level for effective delivery of community-based programmes.

Community volunteers

There are two types of community cadres: community volunteer workers (CVW) and village health workers (VHW). Until 2000, the CVWs were carrying out a range of community services including community-based growth monitoring and promotion. It was realized, however, that because of excessive workload, the CVW could not attend to growth monitoring and promotion properly. So, the MOH-CW re-introduced the community health worker (CHW) programme in 2000, which had been interrupted soon after independence and replaced by the CVW programme.

The initiative taken to revitalize the VHW programme and the financial support given from the Government are commendable but the method of implementation is less than effective. Instead of convincing communities to support the volunteers in cash or kind, the Ministry of Health has created a precedent by committing itself to paying VHWs ZW$ 500 (about US$ 10) monthly. The plan is that the district hospitals would pay them from income generated from clinical and laboratory services. The information gathered from the hospitals suggests that generated funds are inadequate and that payments to VHWs compete with the procurements of drugs. Moreover, VHWs view the US$ 10 as inadequate since it is taken to be a ‘salary’. Some have already started to complain, saying that it is too small a salary. The issue of payment has also affected the selection. Because the incentive was considered as “salary” and with the hope that it might increase, unemployed youngsters were selected, who are unlikely to remain in service. For example, in one village it was observed that a counsellor’s son (a very young boy) was trained as CHW and even before he was given the necessary materials, he was bitterly complaining that the salary was not enough. This may be extreme, but he said that was the feeling of many (though not all) of those who trained with him. The coordinators responsible for the CHW programme are very aware of the situation and are trying to correct it.

The plan calls for one CHW per 100 families. Interviews with community members and volunteers suggested that the number of families per CHW, to allow effective contact between her/him and the members, is a maximum 50, or one CHW per kraal. The coordinator of the CHW programme agrees with the logic but argues that the health care infrastructure does not have adequate capacity to train and support big numbers. It might however, be possible to reduce the extent of the programme by careful targeting of areas with a high prevalence of malnutrition.

Monitoring and evaluation

The monitoring and evaluation aspect is weak. Sectoral ministries routinely submit an annual plan and an annual report. The provincial health units have plans and annual reports well arranged in the form of a logframe matrix. However, lacking is a comprehensive analysis that would allow monitoring of processes, and feedback to implementing units and communities.

The last formal evaluation of the programme was undertaken in 1989, with few informal ones in the subsequent years. The recommendations were used to make some adjustments to the programme. A decade after the last formal evaluation, a comprehensive review was made independently by SIDA in 1999, as an inventory of the legacy of its long years of support to food security and nutrition in the country (SIDA, 1999). A few fragmented but useful studies related to some aspects of the programme have also been undertaken by NGOs such as the Dutch Inter-Church Aid, the University of Zimbabwe and individual researchers.



Since the introduction of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) of 1991, there have been high expectations for decentralization, but to date there are no concrete actions. Resource allocation and staffing is still under the control of the central level with some degree of freedom given to provincial offices to disburse funds for the districts based on their annual plans.

In the process of implementation of the ESAP, many departments in the civil service were affected, amongst which was the NNU. The number of staff in the Unit has been scaled down from 6 to barely one since September 2000. The idea is to share the functions of the NNU between the Secretariat of the Food and Nutrition Council and the provinces. Accordingly, two senior Nutritionists have been seconded to the Secretariat, one to the FAO office and all the provinces save one, have two qualified nutritionists each. The districts have been allocated a budget for one nutritionist and an assistant. The recruitment has started already.

The Food and Nutrition Policy is still in the making but a Rural Development Strategy and a Poverty Reduction Strategy exist. The objectives of the two strategies and approaches fit well with those of CFNP. In a country confronted with much land reform politics and an economic crisis, it would be hard to expect the issue of nutrition to be high on the agenda. However, it has been given commendable recognition as highlighted below.

Government commitment to nutrition

There are several measures, which indicate the commitment of the Government. A study done in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region in 1999 (UNICEF/ESARO, 1999) indicated that Zimbabwe is one of few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that has a line item in the budget for nutrition, and a relatively better structure for nutrition at the subnational level. Although the country has enjoyed considerable external support for nutrition from donors in the past, the Government too has contributed its share. Currently, not much is coming in for nutrition from outside, but the Government has increased the budget for nutrition within given resource limitations.

The village health worker programme has been revived primarily to strengthen the community-based nutrition interventions and ZW$ 40 million has been allocated for training, support and supervision. The initiative has taken off, and the newly trained VHWs have been working now for some months.

Intersectoral coordination mechanisms

The Government has in its structure an established coordination mechanism for socio-economic development at all levels. At the central level, there are task forces for the formulation of various socio-economic policies and harmonization of goals and national plans, including one for Food and Nutrition. At provincial and district levels, there are development committees and various technical subcommittees composed of the relevant sectors and other partners accountable to the provincial and district councils depending on their administrative level. The FNMT is one of these. Although not all the committees are active, their existence is important, so that they can be easily activated as needed.


Community participation in the context of Zimbabwe should be viewed from its historical and cultural perspectives. Under colonial rule, people did not participate in their development. According to observations of one of the most senior nutritionists, after independence there was euphoria and enthusiasm to build the nation, which enhanced a participatory approach in development programmes, including in the area of food security and nutrition.

There is also the cultural context to it: involvement through respect. If a traditional chief has the respect of his people it is likely that community members participate in what a chief proposes because they trust his concern for their welfare. However, this too is changing. Firstly because the present day chiefs do not enjoy respect as in the past, and secondly, people are now less likely to accept decisions unquestioningly.

While there is no concrete information to demonstrate community-initiated involvement, and while most initiatives seem to have originated elsewhere, communities respond if the initiatives address their needs and priorities. In general, community involvement is neither passive nor active. It is worth indicating here that CARE Zimbabwe operating in the south is working on an interesting project, Community Capacity Development, and experimenting with a new approach of incentives to CHWs. The CFNP could benefit from this experience.

Zunde as a strategy for community involvement in the Food and Nutrition Programme

In the process of searching for effective mechanisms for community mobilization to produce food for supplementary feeding, the need to consider the revival of the zunde was raised by local chiefs.

Zunde is a Shona (one of the tribes) word, which commonly means an informal, inbuilt, social, economic and even political mechanism. The original zunde concept centred on ensuring food security for a village during normal times as well as times of stress, whether natural or induced by man. A chief designated a piece of land for cultivation by his subjects. The harvest was stored in the chief's granary (Zunde raMambo) in his compound. Zunde raMambo was perceived not only as a crop production activity whose main aim was to address food security or insecurity, but it was also regarded as a social and political rallying point used by the chief to exercise control over his people and to ensure their safety. Involvement in the zunde was an expression of oneness and carried with it social and moral obligations. Food was perceived not only as a means of meeting nutritional requirements, but also as a social tool which brought people together to share their successes and/or failures" (University of Zimbabwe and MOH-CW, 2000 – case study preliminary report).

A series of national consultative meetings and workshops were conducted to popularize zunde (MOH-CW). There was excessive enthusiasm on the part of the professionals in the sectors and encouragement from the higher levels towards using the approach. As a result, pressure was placed on chiefs to propagate the concept and start implementation. The chiefs in turn pressured villagers, which resulted in several villages starting to produce food for supplementary feeding in communal plots. The implementation of the zunde differs from place to place depending on the respect accorded to the chief and the level of sensitization of the community. Where it started, the production was seasonal, mainly maize and small in quantity, not adequate to cover needs.

Zunde is gradually gaining momentum as an entry point to community involvement and perhaps a rural development strategy. The concept has attracted some research, and academic institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe are keen to monitor and contribute to its development. Zunde is now recognized by higher authorities in the sectoral ministries especially health, agriculture, community development to the extent that the Government has allocated over ZW$ 50 million for the development of zunde farms in the form of loan for seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural implements for the year 2002 planting season. During the field visit, it was observed that some villages had already forwarded their requirements through the Agritex. Another indication of the recognition of the zunde is the fact that with the new land distribution and resettlement programme, plots are being allocated for “zunde farms” for settlers.

While appreciative of the revival, many believe that it has to be adapted to situations as they exist in the 21st century and not be taken in its traditional form. Moreover, it is important to sensitize people to fully understand it, rather than to simply adopt it because they respect their chiefs. Studies undertaken by the University of Zimbabwe/Ministry of Health (2000) and by others (Jotham Dhemba, 2000) indicate that in some areas, communities had little understanding of the objectives of the zunde. Some community members felt that perhaps they were producing food for the chiefs, particularly where the plots for such farms were provided by the chiefs.

Whatever form it takes now, it is a potential mechanism for community involvement, not only for food production but also for other development interventions, and therefore it should be carefully developed without misunderstanding and distortion. This could prove to be one of the great opportunities for the development of nutrition security programmes in the country.


Agri-Optima. 2000. Review of Rural Food Security Programmes: Main Report. Vol. 1 of II. Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Zimbabwe.

CSO (Central Statistical Office). 1984, 1989, 1996. Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys. DHS, Macro International Inc. USA

CSO. 1994. Census 1992, Zimbabwe National Report. Harare, Central Statistical Office.

CSO. 1995. Poverty Assessment Survey Study (PASS). Zimbabwe

CSO. 1998. Zimbabwe: 1997 Intercensal Demographic Survey Report.

CSO. 2000. 1999 Indicator Monitoring – Labour Force Survey. Zimbabwe.

DHS. 1999. Demographic and Health Survey Zimbabwe, 1999. Macro International Inc., USA.

Jotham Dhemba et al. 2000. Non-formal Social Security: The Case of “Zunde ra Mambo” and Burial Societies in Zimbabwe.

Mashonaland Provincial Health Office. 1999. Mashonaland provincial report. Zimbabwe.

MOH-CW (Ministry of Health and Child Welfare). 1997. National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 1997-2007.

MOH-CW. 1999. Report on National Consultative Meeting on Zunde raMambo. Chimanimani Hotel, 13-15 October 1999.

MOH-CW/University of Zimbabwe. 2000. Sustainable Methods to Improve Food Security at Village Level in Zimbabwe: Case Study of “Zunde raMambo”/Isipthala Senkosi. Preliminary report.

Musizvingoza, T. 2000. A Study to Identify the Factors which have Contributed to Continued Operation and Discontinued Operation of Nutrition Garden Projects in Zvimba District in Zimbabwe. Partial Fulfilment for M.Sc in Public Health Nutrition. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.

Secretariat Task Force for Food and Nutrition. 1997. Food and Nutrition Security with Shared Economic Growth: A Policy Framework for Achieving Food and Nutrition Security in the Context of Economic Development in Zimbabwe.

SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency). 1999. Working with Nutrition: A Comparative Study of the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre and the National Nutrition Unit of Zimbabwe.

Sonza, T., Katuli, S. & Mtisi, S. 2000. An Assessment of Food and Nutrition Situation in Sanyati and Gokwe North. A survey report. Zimbabwe.

Tagwireyi, J. and Greiner, T. 1994. Nutrition in Zimbabwe: An Update. The World Bank, Washington D.C., 147 pp.

UNICEF/ESARO. 1999. Training Needs Assessment in the ECSA Region for Human Resource Development in Nutrition.

UNICEF. 2000. State of the World’s Children.

Appendix 1

Example of a group approach Musaruruua: Community Irrigation Scheme

Many groups have been formed, some have ceased to operate, while others are still active. The following case demonstrates how some community members have organized themselves and improved the household food security of group members and others in the community.

Province : Mashonaland
District : Zvimba
Mini-Project: food production to improve household food security:
Main intervention: group irrigation scheme linking production, access and consumption.

Prior to 1997, some people were settled in Musaruruua village (Sanyati District, Mashonaland West Province). They were engaged in individual vegetable gardening, fetching water from a nearby river. The community was among the poorest in the area. Most of the men were compelled to seek employment in the mines, leaving women and children behind. Life was difficult. So 33 women and 17 men organized themselves, and through the efforts of Agritex and the CFNP they were able to get material assistance (pipes, generator from a Japanese aid package) to start microirrigation.

They were allocated additional land by the Government, a quarter of an acre per member. In 1997 they cleared the bush and dug trenches. A generator was installed, pipes fitted and fencing completed. Planting started in 1998. The first year, they said was "tough", they had no experience, nor the money, but gradually things got better. Now they are producing cereals (maize and potatoes) twice a year, legumes (peas, beans, cowpeas) and vegetables of all sorts including tomatoes and carrots all year round. They have also planted fruit trees.

Each member keeps her/his private plot within the fenced area, and shares a communal service. The group has eight committee members (3 men, 4 women and the head of the village as an ex-officio member), a chairman, vice-chairman, a secretary and an assistant secretary. Every member of the group works on her/his own field and manages its products and income, but also benefits from, and contributes to, communal services such as fuel for the generator, fertilizers, and insecticides. They keep a joint bank account for the payment of communal services. The financial control and bank transaction systems allow no room for misuse of funds.

Training was given on all aspects of agricultural practices and nutrition by the Agritex and health staff. The elected members were trained on leadership, financial management, and recording. Reasonable extension agent support is provided, a general practitioner service exists as an outreach from a not-too-distant health facility.

The other important point to note about this group is that they employ up to 500 seasonal workers from the nearby villages. Besides, inhabitants of the surrounding villages buy their food from the group, closer to their home, cheaper, diversified, and always readily available. This contributes to improving the household food security of families in the area, not only of the group members.

Their major problem is the lack of an adequate market: production is too high to be absorbed by the surrounding areas. Hence they are seeking a loan to buy a lorry to transport produce to markets further afield.

The construction of a day care centre inside their farm is nearly completed. The reasons for establishing the centre were provided by the mothers:

Information on the nutritional status of the children of the families in the group is lacking (pre and post implementation) but, looking at the growth charts of a few children, the situation appears to be very good. As a result of the success of this group in a relatively short period of time, many requests for support are coming in from other groups but resources are scarce.

The Masaruruua group is one example but other such groups were also observed, including some in Manicaland province. The example of this group clearly demonstrates what villagers can do, if given the chance to organize themselves and if technical and material resources are made available.

Appendix 2


Central Level

Mrs. Julia Tagwireyi

Coordinator Interim Secretariat Food and Nutrition Council

Mrs. Rufaro Nzidima

Director, National Nutrition Unit, MOH-CW

Mrs. Jerida Nyyatsanza

Coordinator, Strengthening of Food and Nutrition Training in Southern Africa, Univ. of Zimbabwe


Mr. Anthony Mukwidingwi

Senior Officer, Agritex

Ms. Diane Lindsey

Health Sector Coordinator, CARE International, Zimbabwe

Mr. George Codjia

Subregional, Food and Nutrition Officer, FAO

Mrs. Isabel Bhowa

Nutritionist, FAO, Zimbabwe

Mr. Stanley Chitekwe

National Project Officer, UNICEF


MashonalandWest Province

Mrs. Tecla Musizvingoza

Provincial Senior Nutritionist

Mrs. Esther Rukure

Provincial Coordinator Village Health Worker Programme

Mr. Mkewna

Provincial Agritex Officer


(a) Zvimba District


Mrs. Florence Matanhada

District Health Coordinator Nurse

Mrs. Yaliwe Manika

District Officer, Ministry of Gender, Youth Development and Employment Generation


Mrs. Cathrine Kufakunesu

Extension worker, Ministry of Gender, Youth Development and Employment Generation


Mr. Walter Sithole

Agritex Extension worker

Mr. J.M. Sipolilo

Director, Mupumbu School

Mr. Ataranja

Teacher of Agriculture, Mupumbu School


(b) Kadoma District


Mrs. Ndoro

District Agritex Officer

Mr. Mtisi

Coordinator, Dutch Church Aid

Chief Hazheri

Traditional chief, Kadoma district

Mrs. Loveness Chindito

Community volunteer worker

Mrs. Bhengo

Village Health Worker, Dutch Church Aid

Mr. Norman Mkiwza

Village Health Worker

Many community members

Various villages


Manicaland Province

Chief Makoni

Local chief of Makoni District

Mrs. B. Benzo

District Nursing Officer

Mrs. S. Tinarwo

Community Sister

37 This programme began in 1982.
38 Editor’s note: Zunde is a Shona word, which commonly means an informal, in-built, social, economic and even political mechanism. The original Zunde concept centred on ensuring food security for a village during normal times as well as times of stress, whether natural or induced by man. A chief designates a piece of land for cultivation by his subjects. The harvest is stored in the chief's granary (Zunde raMambo) in his compound.
39 Central Statistical Office.
40 Musizvingoza, Tecla (2000). Factors Affecting Nutrition Garden Projects in Zvimba district. Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe – M. Sc. thesis.
41 It could have been more appropriate to build upon the kraal than to create new groupings.
42 Interest rates for loans have increased due to inflation .

Previous PageDébut de pageNext Page