Five thousand smallholder biofortification farmers will be digitally connected to input suppliers and food processors to help them realize their farming enterprise potential in three Zimbabwean districts.
The “Scaling Nutrition Resilience in Zimbabwe” project, led by HarvestPlus with support from the Happel Foundation, will increase access to biofortified iron beans, vitamin A maize, and vitamin A sweet potato to improve livelihoods and health among approximately half a million people in Zimbabwe.
The project aims to build sustainable markets for biofortified foods by linking supply and demand through new technologies and partnering with a leader in agri-tech, Cropin. Digital services will help smallholder farmers overcome the challenges they encounter when looking for processors for their agricultural produce.
Farmers will be given access to a custom digital platform, through which they will be linked to suppliers and receive information on the annual demand for biofortified iron beans, vitamin A maize, and vitamin A orange sweet potatoes.
Biofortified food processors will also benefit through increased aggregation efficiency and increased access to high quality, locally grown, and traceable raw material.
The digital marketplace will enable sustainable commercialization by:
- Increasing biofortified crop production (linking demand and certified seed producers to farmers;
- Increasing biofortified food production (linking food manufacturers and supply, supporting new biofortified business, and increasing consumer demand);
- Creating a sustainable digital platform and (streamlining monitoring and evaluation.
This is the first project in Zimbabwe to use existing digital technology to bridge gaps in biofortified food supply chains with a new platform. Large-scale improvements in nutrition are much needed in Zimbabwe, where an estimated 20 percent of children under the age of five suffer from vitamin A deficiency and more than 72 percent of children and 69 percent of women of reproductive age are iron deficient.
The Scaling Nutrition Resilience project will be implemented from June 2022 – May 2026 in the districts of Mazowe, Guruve, and Mount Darwin within Mashonaland Central province.
Implementing partners include the Agricultural Advisory Services department under the Zimbabwe Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development.
For more information, contact HarvestPlus at [email protected]