Zimbabwe

Overview

Despite its rich natural resources, Zimbabwe’s economy has been in steep decline during the past decade. Unemployment is estimated to be as high as 95 percent, and about 1.7 million Zimbabweans lack ready, reliable access to food.

But the country is taking steps toward a brighter future. TechnoServe is working with entrepreneurial men and women in Zimbabwe to capitalize on this momentum and promote sustainable development. By assisting medium-sized agricultural businesses, we hope to create new jobs and income opportunities for small-scale farmers, demonstrating a new way forward for Zimbabwe’s agriculture industry.

Impact

Since its establishment in 2010, TechnoServe Zimbabwe has transformed lives of more than 7,700 small scale farmers and rural families by increasing their household incomes and creating employment through agri-businesses taking part in the Agro Initiative Zimbabwe programme. The 12 businesses, currently working with TechnoServe, are projected to realize incremental revenue of up to $13.5 million, creating 242 jobs with a downstream effect on 70,000 small scale farmers/rural communities having access to markets, information and technology in three years.

On The Ground

Projects

 

Technical Assistance Facility

TechnoServe serves as the manager of the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which supports the African Agriculture Fund, a private equity fund, to address food security challenges across Africa. TAF provides technical assistance to small and growing businesses (SGBs) invested in by the African Agriculture Fund, and improves linkages between enterprises and smallholder outgrowers.
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Developing the Poultry Industry

TechnoServe implemented an 18-month pilot program to strengthen Zimbabwe’s poultry industry. In partnership with DAPP Zimbabwe, TechnoServe tested new models of linking poultry companies with small-scale chicken outgrowers, aiming to raise the incomes of more than 70 outgrowers by at least $1,000 each per year. The program helped more than 3,000 soy and maize farmers improve their productivity, and facilitated connections with local feed processors to ensure a stable market for these farmers. TechnoServe also provided technical assistance to the Zimbabwe Poultry Association to promote the inclusion of smallholder farmers within the industry.

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Supporting Innovative Agriculture

TechnoServe is running a national business plan competition called Agro Initiative Zimbabwe. The program supports promising ideas in agriculture by awarding capital prizes and technical assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses that include smallholder farmers in their supply chains and can serve as models for the broader industry. The program aims to award 25 prizes to companies in diverse categories including staple crops, high-value crops, livestock and food processing.

The technical assistance addresses client growth constraints at a business level, thus setting them on a path to secure subsequent external finance to commercialize or scale, and farmer capacity building to ensure contracted households understand the underlying business case in each partnership for maximum yields and profitability.

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Promoting Mobile Solutions for Development

TechnoServe is working to introduce mobile phone-based solutions to meet demand from farmers, agribusinesses and the development community for information and other value added services. In partnership with Esoko, Africa’s largest mobile agriculture platform with operations in 17 countries, TechnoServe has set up a live platform that provides market information to farmers and allows organizations to interact and exchange information with value chain actors. Work is also going into development of finance and risk management solutions.

Partners

Esoko

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Zimbabwe

Blog Posts

August 1, 2012

Q&A: Former TechnoServe Volunteer Launches Food Company to Benefit Poor Communities

Former volunteer consultant Sara Andrews chats with us about her time in Zimbabwe and the company it inspired, Bumbleroot.

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October 5, 2011

Q&A: Promoting Innovative Agricultural Businesses in Zimbabwe

Brighton Makuvaza is the administrator of TechnoServe’s Agro Innovation Zimbabwe business plan competition in Harare, Zimbabwe. In that role, Brighton has helped coordinate every aspect of the program. The experience has shown him the promise of the agricultural sector to change lives in poor areas of Zimbabwe.

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Contact

TechnoServe Zimbabwe

12 Lomagundi Road
Mount Pleasant
Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: +263 4 339 945; 307630

Luke Potter

Country Director
lpotter@tns.org

Resources