Politics & General News

Feed The Future beefing up food security

Feed The Future, a US government Global Hunger and Food Security initiative, which is basically a Livestock Development Program, which is set to increase incomes and food security for 3 000 beef and 2 000 dairy households in Zimbabwe. The program began in June 2015 and will run through June 2020. The main thrust of the program is reducing rural poverty and increasing incomes for 3 000 beef and 2 000 dairy households and also improving their hygiene and nutrition practices. The program is undergoing its activities in partnership with local and private sector companies and relevant government line ministries.

Feed The Future, Zimbabwe Livestock Development Program targets smallholder dairy farmers in Natural Region III and IV and Beef farmers in Natural Region IV and V. The program is currently run in six districts in Zimbabwe in Chipinge, Gokwe South, Chirumanzu, Gweru, Kwekwe and Umzingwane. The program has reached out to 4 914 rural households or 5 897 farmers of which is 45 percent were women and 20 percent youths. In 2017, 97 percent of the program beneficiaries applied improved technologies cattle. The following livestock technologies had the highest adopting rate dipping 86 percent, dosing 62 percent disease treatment 66 percent and supplementary feeding 51 percent.

The program commercializes smallholder farmers by increasing production and productivity, while reducing costs of production to improve overall smallholder competitiveness in the beef and dairy sector. This is done through improving demand for smallholder-produced beef and dairy products by focusing on improved supply, quality, quantity and logistics harnessing new private sector investment and supporting new business models that create sustainable markets for smallholder beef and dairy products. By expanding the availability and access input by establishing new partnerships between  input suppliers and farmers. Introduction of low to no cost technologies that improve the productivity, health and nutrition of smallholder beef and dairy herds. Also facilitating linkages between beef and dairy value chain players and financial institutions to foster productive and sustainable investments within the value chain. By training beneficiaries on good nutrition, hygiene and sanitation practices to improve overall household health and nutrition well being. Promotion of social inclusion of women and youth, and good environmental stewardship is also of paramount importance. The program is enabling each beneficiary household to own at least 15-20 beef cattle by the end of the program. Also by the end of the program, beneficiary households will own a minimum of high quality milking cows that yield an average of 12 litres per day.

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