The majority of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe cultivate very small plots, with 40-52 percent cultivating less than 1 hectare (Ha) and 70-75 percent cultivating less than 2Ha. This means any agricultural and food security strategy that does not recognize this structure will likely be ineffective to achieve inclusive and broad-based poverty reduction and agricultural growth.
Increased efficiency in the production of maize is the best means to achieving competitiveness in local and regional maize markets. The current average productivity is too low to achieve this self-sufficiency. Crops yields, including that for the main staple crop remain too low, with the average for maize around 0.671 tonnes per Ha between 2010 and 2015, rising to about 1.1 tonnes per Ha in 2016/17.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the Managing Agent for the LFSP’s Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition (APN) component. FAO, together with its policy partner Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), have produced a policy brief to illuminate the issues around Smallholder Productivity and Subsidies: Policy Issues, Opportunities and Recommendations for Zimbabwe.
For further insight into these and more issues access the policy brief, here (PDF).