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USAid Donates US 1 Million to Gwanda Farmers

The Sunday News

Nobukhosi Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter

Farmers in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, have received a shot in the arm after the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) availed more than US$1 million as part of efforts to mitigate acute food shortages.

The intervention comes at a time when the country and the rest of Southern Africa are experiencing an El Nino phenomenon which resulted in below-normal rainfall.

USAID has been instrumental in terms of equipping and empowering underprivileged communities, strengthening health services, increasing food security, supporting economic resilience and promoting democratic governance across the country.

Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe an international non-governmental organisation that works with USAID commended USAID for the gesture.

Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe’s country director, Ms Barbra Mhlanga said the donation will go a long way in addressing the farmers’ plight and boosting their various agricultural projects as there will be various activities that the farmers will be taught on.

“We are pleased with the USAID -funded activity Action Against Hunger and Food Insecurity initiative in Gwanda District of Zimbabwe. The one-year, US$1,299,675 activity focuses on improving household food security and nutrition that will strengthen resilience to climate-induced shocks and stressors for 4,375 households,” she said.

Ms Mhlanga said the donation will support a lot of households in the province and through the initiative, farmers will be taught more on climate change mitigation strategies.

“Through dry land agricultural interventions, the activity is supporting 2,000 households with small grains such as sorghum, millet, and cowpeas. Farmers will also learn more on climate change mitigation strategies such as soil and water conservation, integrated pest management, seed selection and storage, and natural soil fertility management amongst others,” she said.

Ms Mhlanga added that the donation will further improve household nutrition and provide a source of income to some of the households.

“The donation will support 1 700 vulnerable households with indigenous chickens, training on poultry production, poultry feed formulation, housing, disease management, breed improvement as well as food and nutrition. In addition, the activity will provide cash support to the 675 most vulnerable households,” she added.

Ms Mhlanga said as the Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe organisation they will support USAID as it has started a good initiative to help farmers in Gwanda.

“Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe together with Dabane Water Workshops will implement the rehabilitation of three and the establishment of two solar-powered irrigation schemes to boost the farmers’ program that aims at supplying construction materials and training on growing nutrient-dense food,”

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