WFP TO IMPLEMENT FOOD PROGRAM FOR MASVINGO AND RUSHINGA DISTRICT

Yeukai Tazira

The World Food Program in conjunction with the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) is set to implement an integrated climate risk management and food security program which will benefit Masvingo and Rushinga district.

The program which will run until 2024, aims at strengthening Zimbabwe’s capacity to reduce, anticipate and rapidly respond to the effects of climate shock and sustain climate-resilient rural development,

The project is being financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

It will be implemented by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Speaking during a workshop recently, WFP country director Francesca Erdelmann said the project is long term and will benefit 10,000 households and an additional 52,000 people in Masvingo and Rushinga districts.

Devastating harvests

“Due to its heavy reliance on rain fed agriculture, the economy of Zimbabwe and the livelihoods of its rural communities are highly vulnerable to climate change.

“The Green Climate Fund (GCF)  project (Sap 007), Integrated Climate Risk Management for Food Security and Livelihoods in Zimbabwe Focusing on Masvingo and Rushinga Districts”, aims at directly supporting long term adaptation to the impacts of climate change and variability of 10,000 vulnerable and food insecure  households (50, 000 people of which 66% are women) in Masvingo and Rushinga districts of Zimbabwe and to indirectly benefit at least an additional 52,000 people for a total number of 102,000 people.

With a total GCF contribution of USD 8,9 million, the project will be implemented from 2021 to 2024,” she said

The project contributes to the GCF result areas for adaptation which are increased resilience and advanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities and regions, increased resilience of health and wellbeing and food and water security.

She added that project governance structure will be led by a Project Steering Committee (PSC), composed of heads of executing agencies and ministries.

The structure will be set up to provide overall strategic, policy and decision-making oversight, a Project Technical Committee (PTC) which reports to the PSC will be established to give technical quality control during project implementation whilst the day-to-day execution of the project will be overseen by the Project Management Unit (PMU) which also reports to the PSC and get technical support from the PTC.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Agriculture has adopted the Pfumvudza/Intwasa which is a climate smart agriculture initiative implementing Conservation Agriculture practices.

 The Pfumvudza/Intwasa initiative emphasises on minimum soil disturbance, mulching and hole digging to make the most out of small pieces of land under the presidential input programme.

 This will ensure that the smallholder farmers can adapt to climate risk at the same time enhancing food security.

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