The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), as has become the tradition since 2002, conducted the Annual Rural Livelihoods Assessment (ARLA) number twelve. The assessment is part of a comprehensive information system that informs Government and its Development Partners on programming necessary for saving lives and strengthening rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe. ZimVAC is the central pillar around which the Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) plans to build its strategy to fulfill commitment number 6 of the recently launched Government of Zimbabwe Food and Nutrition Security Policy.
The 2013 ARLA covers and provides updates on pertinent rural household livelihoods issues such as education, food and income sources, income levels, expenditure patterns, crop production, livestock production, child nutrition, water and sanitation, crop post-harvest management and issues associated with it. In addition to paying particular focus on and putting households at the centre of its analysis, the ARLA also collects and records rural communities’ views on their livelihoods challenges as well as their development aspirations.
The ARLA recognises and draws from other national contemporary surveys that define the socio economic context of rural livelihoods. Most notable amongst these are Crop and Livestock Assessments, the Health and Demographic surveys, the National Census, the Poverty Assessment Surveys and national economic performance reviews.
We commit this report to you all for your use and reference in your invaluable work. We hope it will light your way as you search for lasting measures in addressing priority issues keeping many of our rural households vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity.
We want to express our profound gratitude to all our Development Partners, in the country and beyond, for their support throughout the survey. Financial support was received from FAO, WFP and SADC-RVAA. Without this support this ARLA would not have been the success it is. We also want to thank our staff at FNC for providing leadership, coordination and management to the whole survey.
It is our joint honour and pleasure to present this report. We hope it will improve short, medium and long term planning aimed at improving the quality of life amongst rural Zimbabweans.