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Improved and enhanced livelihoods, food, nutrition and income security of vulnerable and emerging smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe

Improved and enhanced livelihoods, food, nutrition and income security of vulnerable and emerging smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe

Full title of the project:

Improved and enhanced livelihoods, food, nutrition and income security of vulnerable and emerging smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe through provision of agricultural inputs, input/output market linkages, capacity building and extension

Target areas:

Various districts across the country.

Recipient:
Contribution:
USD 7 298 095
11/05/2012-10/05/2014
Project code:
OSRO/ZIM/201/EC
Objective:

To sustain and improve the livelihoods of vulnerable and emerging rural farming households in Zimbabwe and thus reduce their dependency on humanitarian assistance.

Key partners:

AGRITEX, Department of Livestock Production, Department of Veterinary Services, two NGOs (CADS and LEAD), and private sector financial institutions.

Beneficiaries reached:

20 146 farmers benefited from access to improved inputs; training provided for 126 agrodealers; 16 government and partner extension personnel; 19 farmers’ groups; insurance made available to 5 200 farmers in year one and 4 000 farmers in year two.

Activities implemented:
  • 17 737 farmers provided with paper and electronic vouchers to purchase crucial livestock and crop inputs in 2012/13 season, and 17 800 farmers in 2013/14 season.
  • Beneficiaries used these to buy fertilizers, equipment (including ploughs and tools), seeds, and livestock (particularly goats).
  • Trained 126 agrodealers in voucher redemption and developed agrodealer booklet with information on stock management, record keeping, etc.
  • Facilitated contract farming arrangements for 2 409 farmers, including providing training and extension support; private companies provided the inputs.
  • Provided institutional capacity building support for 19 farmers’ groups to support contract farming, focusing on production, marketing and business development.
  • Organized Training of Trainers activities for extension personnel from the government and implementing partners on good production practices, post-harvest management, marketing, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, gender, etc., which was cascaded down to farmers.
  • Prepared information, education and communication material on a variety of topics, including chicken production, cattle management, recipes for indigenous food, nutrition.
  • Piloted weather index insurance scheme in five districts over two years; 223 farmers received pay-outs following poor rains.
  • Conducted baseline, post-planting, post-harvest surveys, as well as supporting the first and second round crop assessments in 2013 and 2014.
Impact:
  • In all districts, beneficiary households attained yields above those of non-beneficiaries – in 2013, the highest maize yields were 1.33 tonnes/ha and in 2014 1.5 tonnes/ha.
  • 76 percent of households produced sufficient food for one consumption year in 2012/13, rising to 97 percent in 2013/14.
  • There was a significant reduction in households reporting livestock deaths compared with the baseline, owing to improved animal health care practices on the part of farmers.
  • Insurance coverage cushioned farmers against the impacts of a poor season.
  • Agrodealer networks were re-established, and agrodealers built better relationships with suppliers and communities.