WASHINGTON DC — In 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Zimbabwe Agricultural Income and Employment Development programme (ZIM-AIED) aimed at increasing the incomes of rural households in Zimbabwe through commercialization of small-scale farming.
The program was also designed to generate new employment in agriculture and increasing the production of both food and cash crops.
Three years later, more than 90,000 rural households have so far benefited under the five-year program which ends in 2015. In this first edition of a three-part series, VOA Studio 7’s Gibbs Dube highlights the achievements and challenges of the program.
USAID’s ZIM-AIED program, which is being implemented by Fintrac, a U.S contractor that offers agricultural solutions to end hunger and poverty, is expected to increase incomes and food security for 180,000 rural families by 2015.
Thirty-two million dollars has been set aside for the program. The program works in cooperation with government departments, non-governmental organizations, private and public companies to increase smallholder productivity.
Kudakwashe Ndoro, deputy director of ZIM-AIED, says the program is helping increase the productivity and profitability of smallholder producers engaged in the production of target crops and products.