Completed Projects

The Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP)

LFSP was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Palladium. It was implemented in Makoni, Mutare and Mutasa districts by a Consortium led by Practical Action, with SAT and ICRISAT as co-implementing partners, between December 2014 and May 2021. SAT was responsible for the agriculture production and productivity component as well as direct implementation in Mutare district. The programme’s main thrust was to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and poverty in rural areas which are related to agricultural productivity, market access and food security and consumption. LFSP aimed at improving food, nutrition and income security and access to markets amongst 83,310 rural farming households (63% headed by females). These objectives were achieved by raising smallholder farm productivity through promoting improved and climate appropriate agricultural practices, increasing access by smallholder farmers and their value chain actors to rural finance, fostering innovative ways of linking farmer groups and commercial markets, stimulating production and consumption of safe and nutritious food, including bio-fortification, generating and communicating evidence to influence policy and private sector investments and mainstreaming gender.

By the close of the programme, the following results had been achieved:

  • 60% and 43% of targeted households were practicing crop and livestock technologies introduced by the program respectively against targets of 70% and 40% respectively.
  • 46% of targeted households were practising aflatoxin management technologies against a target of 50%.
  • 33 farmer associations and 3 apex bodies were formed and strengthened to service their members.
  • Improved food and nutrition security due to (i) increased productivity was achieved mainly due to the Pfumvudza concept which was successfully piloted by the programme and managed to influence wider adoption in the country, and (ii) increased production and consumption of diverse and nutritious foods (including bio-fortified maize and sugar beans) from own production or purchased from increased incomes from agricultural production. . The application of safe post harvesting technologies to ensure all year-round access to food enabled farmers to cope despite poor agricultural performance in some instances resulting in only 7.8% of households reported to be food insecure by the end of the program.
  • Average maize yields of 7.8t/ha for farmers applying the full Pfumvudza package were achieved.
  • A sustainable community-based extension service delivery system was established where 908 Community Based Facilitators (CBF) became the pivotal link between farmers and public and private extension agencies.
  • Through the Crisis Modifier, the programme supported the rehabilitation of 19 boreholes which are now benefiting humans and livestock at household level, rural health centres and community gardens.
  • Cumulatively 1,926 Internal Savings and Lending groups (ISALs) with a membership of 12,170 (78% female) were supported by the programme and these groups managed to continue operations during turbulent economic periods. Mature ISAL groups graduated to form 21 Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) across the three districts and two SACCOs District Unions in Mutare and Makoni districts. Mature ISAL groups and SACCOS also graduated to form Farmer Group Enterprises (FGEs). Access to rural finance steadily increased to 36 % of farmers who applied for loans being successfully granted. Community Based Microfinance Institutions (CBMFI) played a key role in value chain financing and at least 43% of groups financed inputs.
  • The program was instrumental in setting up a pool and network of 1,268 community-based Gender Champions and support was also extended to 6,249 youths with the programme being instrumental in establishing 4 youth centres of excellence and Gender learning hubs. The program capacitated 5,366 lead mothers and 1,121 village workers as health promoters to facilitate the formation of 1,121 care groups and 4,488 neighbour women groups. Resultantly 64% of eligible women of childbearing age were reached with nutrition behaviours to influence their production and consumption practices.
  • 330 community nutrition gardens and 4 solar powered nutrition gardens were established and capacitated to produce diverse horticultural vegetables and seedlings at community levels. This played a pivotal role in improving farmer households and schools to diversified vegetables.

The Inclusive Poultry Value Chain (IPVC) Project

The IPVC project was funded by the European Union (EU) from 1st February 2019 to 30th September 2022. IPVC was one of the six projects under the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP). The overarching objective was to promote an efficient poultry value chain at three levels: social, economic and environment. Project implementation was done in a consortium arrangement led by COPSE onlus, with Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT) responsible for direct implementation in Harare and Mutare Clusters covering eight districts.

The thrust of the project was to increase the productivity and profitability of the Small to Medium Producers (SMPs) of poultry through the adoption of robust cost reduction strategies and collective action initiatives. In this regard, the project specifically sought to address constraints faced by SMPs of being fragmented and hence faced inefficiencies in their production cycles due to high landed costs of inputs and unstable output markets. Through collective action, farmers benefited from economies of scale as they aggregated their demand, thereby enabling them to bargain for discounted raw materials particularly poultry feeds, which are the major cost drivers constituting 75% of the total production costs. This was further buttressed by the formation of Poultry Business Associations (PBAs) through which a revolving fund facility was injected to initiate discounted bulk orders for SMPs – this was the real game-changer! The PBAs were then capacitated and developed into fully registered cooperative companies that are in existence to this date.

In the Harare and Mutare Clusters, the project reached out to 1,289 direct beneficiaries fully paid up with the two PBAs formed in SAT’s two clusters. At least 67% of the members were females. In addition, the project had 2,997 registered farmer members (not subscribed to the PBAs) with 68.74% being females. Meanwhile, key interventions supported through the project, in line with the revised strategy, included bulk buying, promotion of on-farm feed formulations, technical and institutional development trainings as well as improved access to financial resources. In the two years of operations, the established business units traded an estimated 2,058 tonnes of poultry feeds and 295,532 broiler day old chicks, translating to about US$1, 406, 771 from an initial capital injection of US$36 000 in the revolving fund facility. This excludes other minor business lines pursued by the PBAs.

The key lessons learnt from the implementation of the IPVC project are as follows:

  1. Given ideal conditions, small holder farmers are capable of significantly contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Currently, they produce about 60% of poultry products consumed on the market.
  2. Business-driven models are key in community development interventions due to their high chances of addressing the needs of communities in general, and their sustainability.
  3. Any meaningful interventions, objectively, intended to benefit the target beneficiaries should be preceded buy a comprehensive needs assessment.

Strengthening Community Action and Law Enforcement Against Poaching (SCALE AP)

The USAID-funded SCALE AP project was implemented by SAT in partnership with the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT) and Tikki Hywood Foundation (THF) between 1st July 2017 and 30th June 2022. This initiative sought to combat international wildlife trafficking (IWT) and poaching in and around the Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) and the South-East Lowveld of Zimbabwe. It also provided incentives to local communities for them to become active conservation partners in the fight against IWT and poaching.

The success of SCALE AP is exemplified by the following results that were recorded by the end of the project:

  • 645,000 hectares of biologically significant areas were under improved natural resources management (NRM)
  • 2 community conservation areas adjacent to Gonarezhou National Park were established at Jamanda & Malipati
  • 3 community scouting partnerships were established, and 36 scouts successfully recruited, trained, and deployed
  • 9,143 people (56% female) from around GNP were deriving improved economic benefits from sustainable NRM
  • US$1,317,205 was paid out as direct benefits to communities living within a 15-kilometer radius from the GNP
  • Elephant density improved from 4 to 2.2 per square km due to improved conservation and law enforcement
  • 29 black rhino re-introduced into GNP for first time since 1960 due to improved conservation & law enforcement
  • Decrease of at least 94% from baseline in poaching incidences for species of IWT importance, including elephants
  • 4,718 children (56% female) reached with environmental education in schools around Gonarezhou National Park
  • 3,734 community members (52% female) reached with training on Human Wildlife Conflict mitigation
Scroll to Top