Input Assistance Programme – Vouchers of Hope

Nov 2014

Mr. and Mrs Bandamire are rural farmers in Hurungwe district, located approximately 200 kilometers north west of Harare. The family is one of the 80 000 family farmers who benefited from the voucher input distribution program, and today boast of a bumper harvest that has improved food security and nutrition for their family.

Support for Zimbabwe’s family farmers has in recent years moved away from free “hand outs” to more innovative market based approaches such as the use of voucher systems. What is so innovative about this approach is that it puts farmers in the drivers seat, giving them the freedom to buy the inputs they need most, rather than providing them with fixed starter packs of inputs they may not even need.

The 2 year programme was funded by, the European Union, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development.

After a decade of economic decline marked by hyperinflation, high unemployment and a steep decline in agricultural production, such market based input support programmes are once again giving family farmers in Zimbabwe the opportunity boost their productivity, improve their nutrition and increase their income. Innovative public-private partnerships such as those harnessed by this programme have an important role to play in driving agriculture forward.