Bio-diversified Agriculture for Poverty Reduction and Promotion of Child Rights in Zimbabwe (2011-2014)


SAFIRE in partnership with the Farm Orphans Support Trust (FOST) implemented this three year project which was funded by TDH/BMZ in three districts of Mashonaland Central Province which are Rushinga, Mbire and Muzarabani.

The project’s focus was building the self-help capacities of the communities through integrating   local knowledge and practices with conventional knowledge and technologies. This was aimed at building the long term capacity of communities to manage and support food security and community assets and maintenance on their own. During the three years of project implementation, the project managed to build capacities of targeted communities in health and hygiene and good agricultural practices through establishment and strengthening of water and sanitation, community based structures, agriculture farmer-to-farmer extension system and nutrition garden structures.TDH

Major Achievements

  • An increase of maize yields from 0.5t per ha to 5 tonnes per hectare by farmers who adopted conservation agriculture techniques notably crop bmz
  • rotation together with basins and mulching. Conservation agriculture (CA) has proved to be a viable long term solution to food insecurity in drought prone areas. The project was able to increase maize yields by as much as 300%.
  • The farmer-to-farmer extension approach has provided an effective way for improving agricultural productivity and positively contributed to the project objectives.
  • Increased availability of diversified food sources for 1810HH including 265 HH with children under the age of 5 years. Promotion of fruit fortified porridge and provision of food production and processing technologies encouraged communities to preserve available non-timber forest products (NTFPs) mainly masau, baobab and dried vegetables.
  • The project strengthened the bond between the community and schools as they now work together to protect child rights and develop the community. The number of child protection committees (CPCs) established  were … and these were establised at school, village and ward level to ensure widest possible reach.  A total of 12 abuse cases were raised and finalised with child protection committes rose. The number of reported cases of abuse are expected to decline as the CPCs become more and more effective.The reports followed steps prescribed in the child protection guideline that was developed.  The training that was offered to child protection committees included tips on how to use the guidelines.
  • Improved access to clean and portable water by more than 1840 hh. The 13 trained pump minders managed to repair and maintain the 51 rehabilitated boreholes with support that they received from the water point management committees and DDF. Tool kits provided by the project have made the work of the pump minders easy. This has encouraged communities to pay for the labour costs of the pump minders.

 

Improved health and hygiene by more than 1329 HH. This was achieved through access to 23 toilets constructed at community gardens, meeting places and clinics. In addition more than 325 school going children are benefiting from 17 toilets constructed at primary schools and pre-schools.   Community members especially women appreciate the convenience brought by having toilets at meeting places and nutrition gardens. This was revealed during the ward level exit meetings held across the three districts.