6 000 women set to benefit from food security project

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, [email protected] 

AT least 6 000 people are set to benefit from the second phase of the food security and livelihoods project which seeks to strengthen livelihoods and contribute to building resilience of households through meeting their food and income security.

The project titled “Saving Lives and Protecting Human Dignity through Building Rural Women’s Resilience to Climate Change for Sustainable Food Security” is being rolled out by Women and Land in Zimbabwe in partnership with Norwegians People Aid.

The 10-month programme, which started last month, will be implemented in Gwanda, Chipinge, Gokwe South, Gutu, Makoni, Mwenezi and Shurugwi districts until May next year.

In an interview after an inception meeting in Gwanda yesterday Women and Land in Zimbabwe programmes co-ordinator Mr Norman Munyikwa said the first phase of the project was rolled out between December last year and June this year.

He said the second phase is targeting 6 000 women, an increase from 3 000 women under the first phase.

“As Women and Land in Zimbabwe, we have been working around issues of climate change in a bid to empower the community to build resilience among community members and recovery after climate change disasters. We have been implementing the first phase of the Food Security and Livelihood Project to improve water supply by supporting the establishment of solar-powered irrigation schemes,” said Mr Munyikwa.

“Under this first phase, there was improved food supply and income among beneficiaries. We are implementing the second phase of the project where we will continue implementing strategies to improve household food supply and income. We have also integrated women’s rights issues and we are training them on environmental conservation.”

Mr Munyikwa said the project will see the distribution of small livestock such as goats and chickens and the establishment of solar-powered irrigation schemes.

He said short-seasoned variety seed crops such as sugar beans, sorghum, and finger millet will also be distributed in preparation for the 2023/2024 farming season.

Speaking during the same event, Women and Land in Zimbabwe projects officer, Mr Prince Ndlovu said the second phase of the Food Security and Livelihoods Projects seeks to increase the capacity of 6 000 women in adapting to climate shocks through improving climate resilient food production by end of May next year.

“The project also seeks to improve household food nutrition for 3 000 women through supporting the growing of bio-fortified crops and small livestock production in the project areas. 

Under the first phase of Food Security and Livelihoods Project, two solar-powered irrigation schemes were established in Shurugwi and Makoni districts. Farmers have also been trained on income savings and lending and enterprise development as some of the mechanisms to cope with climate change effects,” said Mr Ndlovu.

“Farmers have also been trained in agro-ecology and sustainable agriculture production. They have been equipped with liquid fertiliser production skills and the use of natural resources to control pests and diseases.”

The project also increased farmer’s knowledge of disaster risk reduction. Under the first phase of the project, seven seed banks were established in the districts. — @DubeMatutu

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