Zimbabwe was once a hub of Southern African agricultural expertise and production, but the virtual collapse of the once thriving sector has left 60 to 70 percent of the population able to farm only enough crops to subsist. The food security situation is improving; the number of Zimbabweans needing food assistance declined from 7 million in 2009, to 1.6 million in 2012. However, smallholder farmers lack liquidity, training, and access to markets. Even with agricultural recovery and donor support, the overall production of food crops still does not meet the country’s needs.
To help Zimbabwe move along the trajectory from relief to development, USAID promotes agricultural recovery and livelihood development. USAID works with the private sector and civil society to rebuild deteriorated extension services and provide training and support for smallholder farmers. We are also strengthening farmer, commodity and agribusiness associations so they can engage in agricultural policy dialogue and better advocate for their interests. In 2011, USAID value chain and livelihood activities assisted approximately 128,000 rural households—38 percent of which were headed by women.
Last updated: May 10, 2013