Enhancing Agricultural productivity in Resettlement Areas Project

ZERO worked on an IFAD funded Msasa Resettlement Scheme project entitled, Enhancing Agricultural productivity in Resettlement Areas" (EAPEM). The final report submitted to the IFAD.

The project was implemented in Msasa Resettlement Scheme, Seke District, in Mashonaland East Province. The overall goal of the project was to promote sustainable use of land and natural resources management in resettlement schemes.

The specific objectives of the project were to:

Study the overall performance of selected resettlement schemes in terms of agricultural production,

Other livelihood support activities and environmental management;

Assess and determine community capacity enhancement needs with respect to environmental management, agricultural production and other livelihood options

Assist communities in the establishment of sustainable

Local level institutions for improved natural resource management in the resettlement schemes.

The Project Successes:

The following were the major project successes.

1. Critical to the success of the project was the establishment of sustainable local level institutions for improved natural resource management in the resettlement schemes in the form of Development Trusts for all the five villages, village 6 being legally in existence since year 2001.

2. Smallholder farmers had an opportunity to access financial resources to assist them in the purchase of fertilizers, agro-chemicals and farming equipment.

3. Due to the fact that agricultural inputs were scarce ZERO volunteered to purchase agricultural inputs on behalf of the Trusts for the current year. This was successfully accomplished before the main planting season.

4. The provision of fertilizer was important because it was used in the maize fields where mostly women participated because their efforts were concentrated on producing food for their families and therefore promoting household food security.

Major outputs from this project:

Enhanced capacity of farmers to manage their community revolving fund;

Training manual translated into vernacular on how to manage the finances of the trust and for personal financial management; Enhanced institutional capacity of communities to undertake development of projects and promote environmental management through setting up of legal entities called Trusts and Provision of fertilizers to assist farmers in enhancing their productivity

The end of this project saw the publishing of a policy Brief aimed at influencing policy on agricultural productivity and Natural Resources Management, within and outside Zimbabwe. This publication was distributed and overwhelmingly received nationally, regionally as well as internationally. There has been a lot of positive feedback from Parliamentarians, environmental experts and local level policy makers

Improving the understanding gender issues is ZERO's priority. ZERO managed to engage the processes in the project as well as policy brief focusing on agricultural dynamics.