Increasing agricultural incomes: IRD implemented the USAID-funded Restoring Livelihoods–Strengthening Value Chains (REVALUE) program in Manicaland province from 2009 to 2011. IRD performed value chain analyses for groundnuts, beans, sesame, and paprika, identifying and addressing critical bottlenecks. IRD partnered with 7,871 farmers: the incomes of those who rely on rain-fed agriculture increased by 30 percent, and yields for groundnuts and beans increased by 195 percent and 54 percent respectively in the first year. IRD helped establish linkages between smallholder farmers and larger commercial agricultural companies through produce consolidation points at rural agro-dealers, and then IRD helped the agro-dealers access credit to purchase the produce. IRD spearheaded consultative meetings with the government of Zimbabwe that led to the lifting of the groundnuts export ban, enabling higher prices for smallholder farmers’ crops.
Improving water, sanitation & hygiene: With support from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), IRD is helping to ensure year-round access to safe water through the installation of rooftop rainwater harvesting systems. To date, IRD has established over 850 systems for households and schools serving more than 26,000 people. The Zimbabwe Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (ZimROOF) program is installing systems at 20 rural schools in four districts of Manicaland province. IRD couples access to safe water at schools with hygiene training using a manual it developed locally. IRD offers the training to surrounding communities in water, sanitation, and health and demonstrates the technology to other NGOs and local institutions.
Financing smallholder agriculture: IRD designed and implements AgriTrade, a commercial credit facility that targets smallholder agriculture. In the past, access to credit in the agricultural sector has mainly supported agribusinesses working with large-scale farmers or government schemes targeting particular farmer groups. AgriTrade is changing this by providing credit to farmers, agro-dealers in rural areas, small and medium agro-merchants, and contract farming companies. Through AgriTrade, IRD increases demand and competition for smallholder farmers’ produce. The farmers gain access to inputs closer to their fields and guaranteed markets through contract farming arrangements. USAID’s investment of US$5 million will generate an estimated US$40 million in loans. The funds are matched by local partner banks, and loans that are repaid are relent to agribusinesses working with smallholder farmers. IRD builds the capacity of potential borrowers to prepare bankable proposals and the capacity of the banks to lend to smallholders. AgriTrade is part of the Fintrac-managed Zimbabwe Agricultural Incomes and Employment Development (Zim-AIED) program.
AgriTrade is a USAID-supported commercial lending facility that links farmers and a... more
The REVALUE program worked with smallholder groundnut and bean farmers in Zimbabwe... more
Access to farming inputs is no longer a major challenge for smallholder far... more
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