Zimbabwe’s agricultural potential
Agriculture in Zimbabwe is a key source of income for most of the population, with over 60% of those who are economically active working in farming. Having been the Bread Basket of Africa, agriculture now only accounts for a small percentage of the country’s GDP. With the sector being dominated by smallholder farming, there is huge potential to raise farmer incomes. For many smallholders across rural provinces, selling produce to middlemen at low prices is the only option. Similarly, in harder to reach areas there has been a scarcity of training on farming techniques, guidance and support for input selection and financing as well as a lack of information on more profitable means of selling produce. Combined with this, unpredictable weather conditions and a difficult economic environment make sustaining a profitable enterprise tricky business.
The DFID-funded Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP) works with farmers to tackle these challenges through two key components – Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition and Market Development support. Thanks to £47,635,000 donated by DFID, both parts of the programme have been instrumental in driving improvements for smallholders. Through building links with private partners, smallholders have received guidance on produce that brings about increased yields and returns. With stronger market networks and inputs, smallholders have enjoyed many more business opportunities. For many, the key to success was seed production.
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