Portland, Ore. – Vibrant Village has committed $244,891 over three years to support the Chitora Ward in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe. 17 villages make up the Chitora cluster, with a population of 3,500 people, 75% of which are women and children. Families in this area lead natural resource-based livelihoods including subsistence rain-fed agriculture, gold panning, smallholder vegetable production and livestock rearing.
Vibrant Village is partnering with Shurugwi Partners, a Zimbabwean nonprofit, to improve rural livelihood options in these communities, as they face new challenges and constraints brought on by climate change. Shurugwi Partners was founded in 2008 in response to increasing levels of rural poverty, hunger and socioeconomic marginalization of vulnerable households in grassroots communities.
The organization has a proven track record with holistic programming and are highly effective in engaging communities. “Shurugwi Partners’ impact comes from their participatory approach in targeting and engaging communities and their leadership structures. We have seen women and youth participating in leadership roles. The fact that there is high level of community participation, sustainable use of their natural environment and promotion of different livelihood activities that improve food security makes this project a good vehicle for promoting sustainable development. “- Tsitsi Wutawunashe, UNDP.
As explained by Pascal Manyakaidze, Shurugwi’s Program Director, “Organic farming is proving to be the cheapest and healthiest way to engage in farming. Organic certification maximizes profits farmers and broaden their markets, which helps these individuals become commercial farmers.”
Through this project, Shurugwi Partners will train and certify 250 smallholder farmers on organic farming practices and standards, establish community seed banks for food crops and train marketing and project management committees. The project also includes several infrastructure components including construction of water harvesting dams, solar powered boreholes and construction of sheds for produce storage, grading, and value addition and marketing in Chitora Ward.
Vibrant Village is pleased to partner with Shurugwi Partners to support new opportunities for rural farmers and to strengthen the organic agricultural sector in this part of Zimbabwe.
Photo from Shurugwi Partners: Grandmother harvesting vegetables for marketing.