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USAID unveils $20mln program to combat food insecurity in Zimbabwe

USAID unveils $20mln program to combat food insecurity in Zimbabwe

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have contributed over $3 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe over 30 years. In 2020, when coronacrisis made the African country to face food insecurity, the American people have helped again. Zimbabwean government has signed a $20 million contract with a local organization expected to boost food production.

The US Embassy in Zimbabwe has confirmed the new multimillion project ‘Feed the Future’. In the statement, the US diplomats have explained the aim of programme known as Fostering Agribusiness for Resilient Markets (FARM), which is designed to combat food insecurity in the poor African country.

“The US$19.8 million, five-year contract with Chemonics International will commence in the next few months and will focus its efforts in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces. FARM builds on the work of Feed the Future Zimbabwe-Crop Development, Feed the Future-Livestock Development, and USAID’s Food for Peace Development Food Security Activities, which will allow FARM to start quickly,” the document reads.

The Feed the Future Zimbabwe FARM activity aimed to cover 20,000 households in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. The USAID programme will provide as well innovative technical training and assistance to smallholder farmers to increase their productivity, bolster crop and livestock sales. Another important issue is improving household nutrition and hygiene, ultimately reducing rural poverty and improving household incomes.

According to the USAID Zimbabwe mission director Stephanie Funkthe Agency is excited about the innovations the FARM activity will bring.

Zimbabwe relies on the USAID support over the years

Last year, USAID’s Feed the Future Crop Development (FFCD) activity reached over 30,000 farmers and 4,000 smallholder livestock farmers, who sold crops valued at US$7.47 million.

According to the statistics, the average net income for beef producing households increased by 45 percent to US$986 a year, while the average net income for dairy producing households increased by 35 percent to US$2,589 a year. Over the past four years, participating farmers sold crops and livestock valued at over US$45.75 million.

These increased incomes have had a major impact on beneficiaries, allowing them to provide for their families while improving household nutrition, and building overall resilience.

Since the start of the USAID mission in Zimbabwe in 1990, the American people, have contributed over $3 billion in assistance. One of the biggest and sustainable project is promoting a more democratic system of governance in Zimbabwe.