Support for Commercializing Non-timber Forest Products in Zimbabwe

Agency for International Development Zimbabwe USAID-Harare
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Financial aid

Reference Number

RFI-613-22-000003

The resilience of Zimbabwe’s people depends on the productivity of its natural resources, principally land, water, and fauna. Yet Zimbabwe’s agricultural land, forests, and biodiversity are in steep decline due to climate events, increased poverty, population growth, poor land use planning, and weak governance. The decline in agricultural production, especially in Natural Regions IV and V (where annual rainfall is less than 650 mm[1], with frequent seasonal droughts, erratic rainfall and severe dry spells) has resulted in increased food insecurity, as well as reduced household nutrition and income. Consequently, there is often crop failure and/or livestock losses that necessitate vulnerable households seeking alternative income sources to procure food and purchase agricultural inputs such as seeds, calves, and fertilizers for the next farming season. Of the nearly 6,000 species of indigenous plants found in the country, some 900 of them have traditional use as food, cosmetics or medicine within these two Natural Regions and are supplementary sources of income for 60 - 70 percent of rural households who live there[2]. With the growing awareness of the nutritional and health benefits that NTFPs offer, there has been an increased demand to commercialize. For example, baobab fruit has been granted a novel foods clearance by the EU and can be exported from Zimbabwe. There are also several companies in Zimbabwe and in the region that buy and process NTFPs and are ready to offer markets to rural producers[3]. Return on investment (mainly labor for collection and processing) is much higher than from any of the major cash crops. For example, in Mutoko and Mudzi districts, it is USD 62.80 for Mobola seed and USD 14.08 for Sour Plum compared to USD 1.68 for groundnuts, which is the major cash earner in the two districts. Therefore, the Activity will seek ways to sustainably commercialize non-timber forest products in order to increase alternative income sources, improve natural resource management practices that will promote biodiversity, and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Target districts will be those districts where the NTFPs of most commercial value are of harvestable commercial quantities. The specific Activity objectives are: ● Increased production and supply of non-timber forest products to meet domestic and international market demands; ● Increased investments by local, regional and international marketers in the communities and on infrastructure that will ensure supply of quality products that meet international standards; and ● Improved natural resource management and sustainable forest management practices that promote biodiversity and reduce human-wildlife conflict. The illustrative activity interventions to be implemented include: ● Capacity building of communities on good non-timber forest products production practices that will ensure increased production of quality products that meet international standards; ● Introduction and promotion of low-cost technologies that improve efficiency, reduce production costs and improve quality of products; ● Introduction of certification procedures that increase the value and acceptability of the products in local and international markets; ● Build capacity on good governance models for community groups to improve business accountability; ● Build capacity of communities on improved natural resources management practices that promotes biodiversity and reduces human wildlife conflicts; ● Increase community groups’ capacity to anticipate and respond to potential shocks and stresses; ● Support communities to identify and address potential or existing conflicts; and Promote consumption of diverse and nutrient dense diets for children and adults
Categories: Natural Resources.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Financial aid

Reference Number

RFI-613-22-000003

United States