The government of India has contributed almost US$1mn to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe to help affected populations tackle climate shocks
The contribution, provided through the India-UN development partnership fund, will be used to assist more than 5200 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.
India played a key role in promoting the adoption of 2023 as the year of millet by the United Nations. This funding highlights India’s growing contributions to the Global South on efforts towards strengthening resilience to climate change.
Adel Abdellatif, director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, said the contribution will ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers.
“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,” added Abdellatif.
This is a sound investment in Zimbabwe which relies heavily on agriculture – accounting for approximately 70% of the populations’ livelihood activity. It is also critical timing for the country, struggling with consecutive years of drought, cyclones, and unpredictable weather patterns.
WFP will build on existing collaboration with partners to combine relevant expertise, alongside the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, and the Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (Agritex).
Francesca Erdelmann, country director and representative, WFP Zimbabwe, said, “This contribution will help WFP and partners on the ground to plan more effectively. Farmers will be trained on the advantages of growing drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum or millet, including techniques on how to reduce post-harvest losses. This contribution will go a long way in empowering farmers with the skills needed for sustainable climate-smart agriculture.”