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Thursday, 12 June 2014

FAO, EU and Zimbabawe: multi million smallholding farming project

The EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Zimbabwean governmemt have launched a multi-million dollar programme to help smallholder farmers manage forests and improve the communities' capacity in times of crises.
The USD$ 4.8 million project was launched in Harare on Monday. It aims to help smallholder farmers diversify their sources of livelihood and give them capacity to withstand shocks in times of crises.
In a statement, FAO's sub-regional coordinator for Southern Africa, and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe David Phiri said "Forests and trees outside forests contribute to food and income security through consumption or sale of forestry products. The aim is to alleviate hunger in the short term and to also ensure the capacity of ecosystems to support long-term food security in the face of shocks and stresses,".
He added that the programme is targeting 60 000 vulnerable households in selected districts within the provinces of Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North.
"These regions are characterised by low crop productivity, and are vulnerable to climatic shocks and adverse environmental conditions," explained Phiri.
He also said, "the areas are also the places where forest management and ago-forestry initiatives have a huge potential to increase and diversify sources of food and income for small-scale farmers, thereby increasing their resilience to shocks."
The project will focus on participatory forest management.
"Participatory sustainable forest management results in improved management of forest resources, reduction in conflicts and incidences of forest fires and enhances production of forest products and contributes to poverty reduction. The resulting increased benefits to communities will motivate them to sustainably manage their forest resources," said Phiri.

Source: Channelzim