The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in conjunction with the Department For International Development (DFID) and Australian AID have launched a US$11,5 million relief programme which will help poor households with farming inputs.
Report By Tawanda Marwizi and Kundai Marunya
Running under the theme Improving food and nutrition security of vulnerable households in Zimbabwe through market-based input assistance, the programme will see small-scale farmers receiving inputs.
Speaking at the launch ceremony in the capital last week, FAO representative in Zimbabwe, Gaoju Han said the move was aimed at contributing towards generating income security.
“This programme intends to contribute to poverty and chronic malnutrition reduction, increased production and productivity, and improved commercialisation of smallholder agriculture,” said Han.
“The targeted beneficiaries of this programme are vulnerable households, mostly based in Natural Farming regions III, IV and V”.
“A total of 60 000 smallholder farmers will be assisted during the 2012/13 agricultural season. 40 000 of these farmers will receive cropping support with each receiving assistance valued at US$128 to which they will contribute US$32 (20%), bringing the total value of inputs to US$160.
“The other 20 000 farmers will access livestock assistance through livestock fairs and paper vouchers for the purchase of livestock and livestock inputs,” said Han.
Speaking at the same occasion, DFID head Jane Rintoul said they were still engaging the corporate world and that the famers would start receiving the aid in October.
“A number of farmers usually complain about the time they receive farming inputs, so for now we are working with the corporate world, then by October we will start delivering to them,” said Rintoul.