THE Government of India has availed US$1 million to assist over 5 000 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts in climate resistance agriculture.
In a statement released by World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday, India had partnered with the international aid organisation to help farmers cultivate drought-tolerant small grain legumes.
“The Government of India has contributed almost US$1 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe to help affected populations tackle climate shocks,” the WFP said in its statement.
“The contribution, provided through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, will be used to assist more than 5 200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts.”
“Working alongside partners, WFP Zimbabwe will provide expertise through its Smallholder Agricultural Market Support (SAMS) programme, to strengthen the resilience and capacity of selected smallholder farmers. The project will promote the cultivation of drought-tolerant small grains and legumes reducing the negative effects of recurring droughts in Zimbabwe.”
The director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Adel Abdellatif, said the contribution would ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers.
“Smallholders and family farmers are emblematic of the Global South, and of the challenge to ensure the Agenda 2030 benefits all, including the developing world’s rural and underprivileged communities.
“Innovations to ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers abound, with India being a distinct leader developing new and context-appropriate practices to mitigate rural poverty,” Abdellatif said.
“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.”
The WFP said the donation was a sound investment for Zimbabwe which relied heavily on agriculture accounting for approximately 70% of the population’s livelihood activities.
The WFP is assisting 326 000 people in 23 urban areas and aims to help up to 500 000 people by the end of the year.