Coping with Drought and Climate Change in Zimbabwe
Around 70% of the population in Zimbabwe derive their livelihoods from rural activities, but only about a third of the country receives adequate rainfall for agriculture. Increased incidence of droughts over the last 30 years has led to significant losses in agricultural productivity, resulting in critical shortages in fuel and food. In addition, maize production on the basis of rainfall is the dominant crop, whereas livestock production in communal areas is constrained by overgrazing in the wet season leading to shortage in the dry season. This project aimed at enhancing the capacity of local people engaged in agriculture to adapt to climate variability and change through demonstration of a range of gender-sensitive approaches. Through this project, vulnerable farmers and pastoralists enhanced their livelihood strategies and resilience by increasing the use of mixed crops and enabling them to take up adapted crop and livestock management practices through demonstration. The project helped improve food security by reducing reliance on one or two crop and on rain-fed agriculture, promoting the use of in-field rainwater after harvesting and drought-resistant to increase yields and shared use and management of wildlife resources (e.g. crocodile farming and fisheries development). A further aim was to enable vulnerable communities to use climate warning systems, which was achieved by developing a culture of using locally observed rainfall records to evaluate decisions about cultivation (e.g. when to plant, when to weed using cultivator and when to harvest), and weather forecasting, particularly for medium range (10-14 days). Overall, the project has helped develop national awareness about climate change, laying the technical foundation and contributing important field experience in Southern Zimbabwe and beyond.
US$ 938,000 (UNDP/GEF/SCCF)