The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is celebrating the success of its five-year Zimbabwe Agricultural Income and Employment Development (Zim-AIED) program. Since 2010, USAID’s Zim-AIED program has assisted over 140,000 smallholder farmers in 46 dry-land irrigation schemes to increase their incomes and improve food security through agricultural production and commercialization.
USAID has provided resources to promote training and technical assistance on good agricultural practices to increase farmers’ production and yields; expanded their access to finance; linked them to suppliers and buyers; and trained them on skills to run their farms as businesses. Fifty percent of USAID’s Zim-AIED beneficiaries are women.
As a result of this program, smallholder farmers have generated more than $210 million in total sales from agricultural products such as livestock, bananas, maize, groundnuts, and sugar beans over 5 years. The average income per household increased from a baseline of $483 in 2012 to $1,725 per year in 2014.
USAID/Zimbabwe Mission Director Melissa Williams commented, “The Zim-AIED program has been one of the U.S. Government’s key programs focused on helping Zimbabwean smallholder farmers increase their incomes and improve their food security. We partnered with the private sector whose investment contributed to sustainable productivity and growth through enhanced technology and improved access to finance and markets.”
Helping smallholder farmers become more food secure is a focus of the U.S. Government’s development strategy around the world.
For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have invested over $2.6 billion in Zimbabwe. More than 40 projects a year include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and advance a more democratic system of governance.