‘Generate homegrown solutions to address poverty, debt’

Zimbabwe should generate homegrown solutions to address the increasing poverty and debt problems instead of relying on externally-prescribed remedies, local civil society organisations have said.

Source: ‘Generate homegrown solutions to address poverty, debt’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 23, 2016

by Phyllis Mbanje

The call came as the country was crafting a two-year interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (i-PRSP), which provides a framework for targeted interventions to reduce poverty and promote economic development between 2016 and 2018.

However, the government has been accused of not complying with the World Bank’s requirements on broad-based consultation and participatory process which would accommodate local contributions.

During a recently-held meeting convened by the Poverty Reduction Forum Trust (PRFT) in collaboration with Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), stakeholders agreed that there was need for inclusive growth and internally-driven public policy solutions.

The organisations were unhappy that the consultations for the i-PRSP, which will be launched in September, were fast-tracked and wholly-government structured.

In their concept note, the civil society groups said there were gaps in terms of quality and level of consultations that went into the process.

“The approach failed to give enough space for key civil society organisations which have been working on different aspects of poverty reduction to submit their independent contributions to foster transparency and accountability and this on its own justifies the need to have an alternative civil society platform to close this gap,” part of the note read.

They also said Zimbabwe was sitting on a huge pool of development information from projects and programmes in various civil society constituencies and such opportunity to tap into the learning from these sectors was missed out.

PRFT programmes coordinator Tafara Chiremba said low agricultural production and productivity was increasing vulnerability and poverty incidence levels.

“Agriculture is the backbone of both the livelihoods of the poor majority, as well as the economy and it puts the agricultural sector as the first and critical pillar for poverty reduction,” he said.

There has been a general decline in agriculture production. Total agriculture production increased from 970 000 tonnes in 2012 to 1,5 million in 2014 before declining to 742 000 tonnes in 2015.

“Productivity is generally declining on livestock and all crops especially grains, thus, worsening the food security situation, malnutrition and increasing poverty,” Chiremba said.

COMMENTS

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    Dombo 6 years ago

    “Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy”? My god, I have heard it all now. How incredibly pathetic.