BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ADVENTIST Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Zimbabwe yesterday launched a horticultural project targeting 50 000 small-holder farmers in Umguza, Murewa and Mutoko districts.
The project titled Engage — Making Markets Work for Small-holder Farmers will be funded to the tune of AUS$1 166 000 ($862 000) for three years to support the recovery of the horticulture sector.
It will be implemented in partnership with the Lands and Agriculture ministry, ADRA Australia, Australian embassy in Zimbabwe with support from the Australian government through the Australian NGO Co-operation Programme.
Speaking at the launch in Harare, ADRA Zimbabwe country director Judith Musvosvi said the project will run until June 2024.
“The Engage project goal is for smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs to have improved livelihoods contributing to economic growth in target districts,” Musvosvi said.
“This goal will be achieved through enabling policy and regulatory environment, strengthened horticulture production base, improved financing investment, developed infrastructure and logistics, developed domestic market, sustainable production and market systems and strengthened institutional arrangements and coordination,” she said.
In a speech read on his behalf by Agritexdirector Stancilae Tapera, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said: “The Engage project has come at an opportune time when the government of Zimbabwe is aiming to increase agricultural production and productivity to realise food and nutrition security at both household and national level.
“Horticulture has been identified as the “low hanging fruit” in terms of generating incomes and foreign currency. 65% of the country’s population relies on agriculture for incomes and livelihood.”
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