Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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FAO sets up $43m facility

FAO sets up $43m facility

Maize-FieldBusiness Reporter
THE Food and Agriculture Organisation is setting up a $43,7 million facility meant to support extension advisory services and agricultural finance initiatives for rural communities to reduce poverty, ensure food security and good nutrition.

FAO said under the framework, selected internationally recognised technical assistance organisations would be partnered with interested local financial institutions over the next four years.

Phase one of the programme would entail training banking staff, research, product and systems development to capacitate participants to effectively serve rural markets. Under the second phase, successful institutions would set up the loan refinance facility for micro-finance and wholesale credit guarantee facility for the participating banks.

“The programme will contribute to poverty reduction through increased incomes and improved food security and nutrition among vulnerable smallholder families in eight targeted districts,” said FAO in a statement.

The targeted districts are Mutare, Makoni, Mutasa (Manicaland); Kwekwe, Gokwe South, Shurugwi (Midlands); Guruve, and Mt Darwin (Mashonaland Central).

FAO is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to reduce hunger, serving both developed and developing countries.

FAO Zimbabwe will be responsible for overall management of the programme, which has a four-year duration. The programme is being funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.


According to FAO, the first subcomponent, which is extension and advisory services, will introduce and mainstream client-oriented, participatory and gender-balanced strategies for services that reach beyond the confines of agronomic advice.

Topics to be covered under this process will include nutrition, business development, market linkages, strengthening farmer organisations and access to community-based micro-finance services.

Further, the extension and advisory services will actively address the specific constraints that smallholder families, particularly women, face in raising productivity on their farms, participating in more profitable markets and making their enterprises feasible and resilient.

The rural finance subcomponent aims to promote outreach and depth of rural financial markets in targeted districts, enabling access to a wide set of financial services that respond to the needs of the targeted households.

This will be done by facilitating a process where financial institutions such as banks and micro-finance organisations operating in the country receive technical assistance to service the agricultural and non-agricultural financial needs of smallholder families and their market partners in a client-responsive, cost-effective and sustainable way.

FAO will invite financial institutions in Zimbabwe and local or international technical assistance providers to express interest in participating in the rural finance subcomponent with the expression of interest deadline set for next Monday.

FAO said the technical assistance providers, which would have submitted the proposals determined to meet the evaluation criteria and best support the goals of the livelihoods and food security programme and the agriculture productivity and nutrition component.


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