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THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is, in partnership with the government, developing a five-year strategic plan to ensure food security and sustainability in the country.

The plan will run from 2022 to 2027.

In a statement yesterday, WFP said the plan would promote further collaboration with the aim of establishing sustainable, resilient and shock responsive social protection programmes with a food system lens.

“On International Day of South-South Co-operation, WFP acknowledges the Global South’s important contribution to alleviating food insecurity and malnutrition in Zimbabwe,” WFP said.

WFP Zimbabwe country director Francesca Erdelmann said the aim was to work closely with the partners to build the skills needed so that Zimbabwe is able to meet its Agenda 2030 commitments.

She said other countries which had helped Zimbabwe before would be brought on board.

“Specifically, WFP aims to enhance market linkages between smallholder farmers and strengthen the capacity of national authorities. South-South cooperation is key to this strategy, and we are determined to unlock its full potential,” Erdelmann said.

“The governments of Brazil, China, India and South Africa, have provided tangible transfer of information, resources and expertise to Zimbabwe over the past years, successfully administered through WFP, to support food security and nutrition in Zimbabwe,” she said.

WFP added that the sharing of expertise that connect farmers to technology had been vital in supporting business development through e-commerce.

“China-Aid Agricultural Technology and Demonstration Centre led the exchange in partnership with Knowledge Transfer Africa (eMkambo), supporting up to 500 smallholder farmers with marketing and horticulture training.”

“Additionally, several farmers and Agritex officers (government officers within the Agriculture ministry) were supported through a trainer programme, to ensure longevity of the project,” read part of the statement.

“Middle and low-income countries possess a rich trove of knowledge that can be shared and adapted to overcome development challenges,” reads part of the statement.”

WFP added that farmers would be trained on the advantages of growing drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum and millet, including techniques on how to reduce post-harvest losses.

The programme aims to assist around 5 200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts over the coming months.

WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundation for a better future.

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