ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) in partnership with two non-governmental organisations, Mercy Corps and COSV and four livestock players, namely Sash Holdings (Shamiso Farm), Zvikomborero Farm, Michview Enterprises and Braford Investment has launched a goat and pig value chain improvement project under a Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP). The inception and launch meetings were held in Harare between 23 and 27 April 2019.
The ZAGP project under which the Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading Empowerment (VALUE) on pigs and goats is running, is a European Union (EU) funded project that will run for four years between February of 2019 and January of 2023.
The project aims to improve the capacity of smallholder farmers especially women and youths to improve their goat and pig breeds, mobilize themselves to access viable markets as well as production and organizational efficiencies in partnership with private sector livestock players. The programme is also targeting goat and pig value chain actors such as research institutions, private companies to provide services to farmers, large goat and pig farms, abattoirs, independent butcheries, chain supermarkets and consumers.
A senior representative from the EU Delegation’s Agriculture, Private Sector and Trade Division, Alice Peslin expressed optimism that the project will contribute to Zimbabwe’s agricultural growth and improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers by improving production and productivity across the goat and pig value chains.
“The EU is working in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe in the implementation of the ZAGP which is supporting other value chains such as beef and poultry being run by other consortiums,” Peslin said while addressing participants of the inception workshop.
Accadieous Tigere from the Grasslands Research Station who also attended the launch of the VALUE programme said the goat and pig value chains have a short life cycle and therefore have potential to increase the income of smallholder farmers in a short space of time.
Launching the programme, Toendepi Kamusewu the AAZ Head of Programmes and Policy on behalf of the Country Director Joy Mabenge, said: “This project will positively impact on the economic opportunities for 800,000 small-scale goat farmers and 56,000 small-scale pig farmers, primarily small to medium-scale producers who are currently stuck at different suboptimal stages of commercialization and growth.”
Given that women play the primary role in small livestock production, they will constitute 60% per cent of all farmers targeted by the project while young men and young women will constitute the remaining 40%.
“This is a very timely project that will increase production and productivity in agriculture, enhance linkages between farmers and the private sector by facilitating access to the markets, finance and infrastructure,” said Dr. Divine Ndhlukula of Zvikomborero Farms, one of the private livestock players in the project.
The project will be implemented in districts spreading across Manicaland, Mashonaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces of Zimbabwe.