HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health in Zimbabwe by promoting vitamin A maize and iron beans. We work with more than 40 partners from government, business, civil society, academia, and research institutes.

HarvestPlus supports the Department of Research and Specialist Services to breed, test, and release varieties of vitamin A maize and iron beans developed through our partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) for maize and beans, respectively. Maize is the primary staple food in Zimbabwe, mainly consumed as processed maize meal (sadza). Most Zimbabweans will say they have not eaten until they have had sadza with its associated relish—beans, vegetable or meat.

Due to micronutrient malnutrition rates, in November 2015, the Zimbabwean government launched a fortification strategy, and biofortification was incorporated as an food-based solution. To date, more than 250,000 households have been reached with biofortified maize and bean seeds both directly and through market-led interventions. This has largely been through the Livelihoods and Food Security Program (LFSP), funded with UK aid from the UK government, which is managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). HarvestPlus in Zimbabwe is a strategic technical partner to the LFSP on biofortification. By 2020, the LFSP anticipates reaching a target of 400,000 smallholder farmers growing biofortified crops in the country.

The Zimbabwe’s Department of Research and Specialist Services, with support from HarvestPlus and other partners has released four varieties of vitamin A maize and of iron beans, which are then licensed to private seed companies to produce seed for sale to farmers. The commercial seed is distributed through agrodealers, government agricultural input support schemes and non-governmental organizations. HarvestPlus also supports commercial seed and grain sales, connects buyers and processors to farmers, and increases awareness of vitamin A maize and iron beans through consumer education, advertising, and media outreach.

Farming households have benefited from the vitamin A orange maize and iron bean in the country’s 12 districts. Since 2015, 130,000 metric tons of vitamin A orange maize and 165 metric tons of iron bean seed was distributed to 12 districts and about 250,000 households benefited. The demonstration plot and field days are organized in various districts to create awareness, educate and train farmers on how to produce the crop and showcase good agricultural practices. The goal is to scale up the production and consumption of these crops through collaboration with government and private sector.

“We like the vitamin A maize a lot and are eating the sadza for its nutritional value. Even our children now prefer to eat porridge made from orange maize.”
— Belinda Mlondiwa, farmer

Country Contacts

Sakile Kudita,
Interim Country Manager-Zimbabwe
c/o CIAT
12.5 KM Peg Mazowe Road, Harare
Phone: +263712622582
Email: s.kudita@cgiar.org


  • Agricultural and Rural
  • Development Authority (ARDA) Seeds
  • CABS
  • Cairns Foods
  • CARE
  • Champion Seeds
  • CIMMYT Southern Africa
  • Regional Office
  • Coffey
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Initiative Centre for
  • Africa (CCBICA)
  • Community Technology
  • Development Organisation
  • Delta Beverages
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Farmers Association of Community
  • Self-Help Investment Group
  •  Food & Nutrition Council
  • GOAL
  • Grain Millers Association
  • Heifer
  • Indaba Agricultural Policy
  • Research Institute (IAPRI)
  • International Crops Research
  • Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • Inclusive Financial services
  • Improved Nutrition and Sustainable
  • Production for Increased Resilience and
  • Economic Growth (INSPIRE)
  • Intercrest Capital
  • Mennonite Economic Development
  • Associates (MEDA)
  • Mercy Corps
  • Micro Plan
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Lands & Rural Resettlement
  • Ministry of Health & Child Care
  • Ministry of Primary & Secondary Education
  • Mukushi Seeds
  • National Tested Seed
  • Palladium
  • Practical Action
  • Prime SeedCo
  •  QUEST Financial services
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • SNV
  • Steward Bank
  • Sustainable Agriculture Trust
  • Technoserve
  • United Nations Development
  • Programme (UNDP)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • VIRL Rural Social Financial Services
  • We Effect
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Welthungerhilfe (WHH)
  • World Vision
  • Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union
  • Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund
  • Zimbabwe Prisons & Correctional Services
  • Zimbabwe Super Seeds 


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