Active Project

Doubling food production

A clever combination of knowledge transfer, skills training, solar powered irrigation and improved seeds is helping farmers in Zimbabwe to double their food production and increase their income.

The Challenge

Families with small farms in parts of Zimbabwe struggle to produce enough food to feed themselves properly. Almost a third of households in the country are food insecure and during drought periods many have had to rely on food aid.

  • Limited access to good soil and to efficient ways of storing and distributing water hinder crop development.

  • Inefficient farming methods mean that the soil is damaged and less able to produce a bountiful crop.

  • Farmers struggle to get quality seeds and are hampered by unhelpful government practices and poor institutional structures.

  • The country’s unpredictable economy means that making a living through farming is a constant struggle.

  • A high volume of produce ends up being spoiled by pests and droughts post-harvest because it’s not stored properly.

“It hurts me as a mother not being able to feed my family.
I can’t sleep at night – I’m always thinking about how I can provide for my family.”

Thulani – Farmer, Bulilima, Zimbabwe

The Ingenious Solution

With your support and our experience and expertise, farmers in the Gwanda and Bulilima districts of Zimbabwe will be able to double their harvests. It’s all down to a holistic solution that includes sunshine, seeds and knowledge sharing.

  • Solar-powered irrigation systems conserve rain collected during the rainy season and increase the amount of water getting to the crops. This helps the crops to grow better and more quickly.
  • We’re re-introducing traditional seed varieties that are ideally suited to the local environment. Choosing seeds that are drought and pest resistant will make a good yield more likely even in drought years.
  • Farmers are learning basic record-keeping and business skills, and we’re training them on how to work together as groups to pool their produce and sell it to buyers more profitably.
  • Better storage solutions and training on how to use and maintain them are keeping produce fresher for longer.
  • We’re supporting households and local leadership to help them understand and combat behaviours that discriminate against women and hinder their progress.
  • Farmers are being trained in ways of growing food that protect and conserve natural resources, particularly soil quality.
  • In order to spread the knowledge gained during the campaign even further, farmers will be encouraged to train others, sharing the skills they’ve learned.

“I now make my own money. I used to rely on my husband but now I can afford to take care of the family on my own.”

Betty – Farmer, Bulilima, Zimbabwe

Our ingenious approach combines different solutions that act together to bring about an enormous and lasting change.

Farmers will be able to move from reliance on food aid to self-sufficiency, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty for good.

With your support, we can reach even more families.

Donate today

Thank you for your invaluable support at this challenging time. In a world facing the terrible coronavirus threat, improving hygiene and access to clean water and sanitation services in poor communities has never been more vital.

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Please select how much you'd like to give, as a monthly or single gift. Your support will enable us to continue and expand our work around the world, helping people to use ingenuity to tackle the world’s toughest problems.


Please select how much you'd like to give, as a monthly or single gift. Your support will fund our work in poor communities all around the world.