The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and partner, Fintrac, have marked the completion of the five-year Feed the Future Livestock Development programme in Zimbabwe.

It was learnt that the USAID marked the completion of the programme at a virtual event tagged ‘Celebrating Commercialisation of Smallholder Beef and Dairy Production’.

Development Diaries gathered that the programme assisted more than 13,000 smallholder farmers across six districts by creating economic opportunities that increased their incomes from US$297 to US$1,345 per annum per household.

At the virtual event, USAID and Fintrac shared reflections on the programme’s achievements and challenges over the past five years to an audience of farmers, private companies, government stakeholders, development and research organisations, NGOs, and other financiers, both in and out of Zimbabwe.

‘Feed the Future aims to transform lives by addressing the root causes of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition’, Mission Director at USAID, Art Brown, said.

‘I am very proud to say that the Feed the Future Zimbabwe Livestock Development programme helped drastically reduce the proportion of beneficiaries living below the poverty line’.

It was learnt that the programme’s market-driven approach in close collaboration with input suppliers, service providers, and buyers, stimulated demand and increased competition for smallholder-produced beef and dairy products.

Through the programme’s training and technical assistance in good agriculture and animal husbandry practices, beef and dairy farmers were given opportunities to sustainably increase their productivity, which enhanced their food security, incomes, nutrition, and hygiene, and built resilience to climate change and drought.

The programme also focused on increasing women’s participation in livestock activities and, as a result, nearly half of the programme’s beneficiaries were women.

It was stated that over the past 30 years, the United States has invested nearly $3.2 billion in Zimbabwe through initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health outcomes, and promote democratic governance.

Source: U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe

Photo source: Natasha Spivak

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