The government of India has contributed US$1million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe to help affected populations tackle climate shocks
The funds are set to assist more than 5200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts. WFP Zimbabwe will provide expertise through its Smallholder Agricultural Market Support (SAMS) programme, to strengthen the resilience and capacity of selected smallholder farmers.
SAMS’s objective is to promote the cultivation of drought-tolerant small grains and legumes – reducing the negative effects of recurring droughts in Zimbabwe. Adel Abdellatif, director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, said the contribution will ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers.
“This project is focused on increasing small grains production and market access. It will provide a good opportunity for successful Southern practices to be tested and scaled, improving the lives of rural Zimbabweans,” said Abdellatif.
This is a sound investment in Zimbabwe which relies heavily on agriculture accounting for approximately 70% of the populations’ livelihood activity. It is also critical timing for the country, struggling with consecutive years of drought, cyclones, and unpredictable weather patterns.
Francesca Erdelmann, country director and representative, WFP Zimbabwe, said, “This contribution will help WFP and partners on the ground to plan more effectively. Farmers will be trained on the advantages of growing drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum or millet, including techniques on how to reduce post-harvest losses. This contribution will go a long way in empowering farmers with the skills needed for sustainable climate-smart agriculture.”