USAID launches US$19.8m agribusiness program in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE – USAID has signed a US$19.8 million, five year contract with Chemonics Inc, private international development firm based in Washington, to fund the new Feed the Future programme in Zimbabwe.

The new Feed the Future programme debut Fostering Agribusiness for Resilient Markets (FARM) is meant to combat food insecurity in Zimbabwe.

“USAID is excited about the innovations the FARM activity will bring, as we assist Zimbabwean farmers and their families to improve their livelihoods and their lives,”  said USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk.

FARM will work with over 20,000 smaller crop and livestock farmers in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.

The programme will provide innovative technical training and assistance to smallholder farmers to increase their productivity, bolster crop and livestock sales, and improve household nutrition and hygiene, ultimately reducing rural poverty and improving household incomes.

It builds on the work of Feed the Future Zimbabwe-Crop Development, Feed the Future-Livestock Development, and USAID’s Food for Peace Development Food Security Activities.

In 2019, USAID’s Feed the Future Crop Development activity reached over 30,000 farmers, who sold crops valued at US$7.47 million. 

In addition, the Feed the Future Livestock Development activity reached over 4,000 smallholder livestock farmers whose average annual household net income increased significantly.

The average net income for beef producing households increased by 45% to US$986 a year, while the average net income for dairy producing households increased by 35% to US$2,589 a year. 

Over the past four years, participating farmers sold crops and livestock valued at over US$45.75m.

These increased incomes have had a major impact on the beneficiaries, allowing them to provide for their families while improving household nutrition, and building overall resilience.

Chemonics International established in 1975 offers a variety of services globally that achieve development impact in the Agriculture, education, health and other sectors.

With more than US$1.5 billion in USAID contracts in 2019, it is the largest for-profit recipient of U.S. government foreign aid.

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