Happy Cows Make Happy Milk and Happy Milk Makes Happy People

Happy Cows Make Happy Milk and Happy Milk Makes Happy People

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This season’s hay harvest is stacked high and fodder is tied in bales at Mathias Chuma’s homestead in Binga District, Zimbabwe. For the first time, Chuma and his family are using hay and fodder they grew, gathered and processed themselves to feed their five cows and 34 goats through the dry season. In this area, most livestock depend on finding wild grasses and pods on communal grazing areas for their nutrition. However, heavy use of grazing lands in this dry and fragile landscape, with only weak arrangements for collective grazing land management and recovery, is contributing to land degradation and depleting grazing resources over time. The USAID-funded Amalima Loko activity advises farmers on how to grow fodder crops and produce low-cost homemade feeds to reduce pressure on these grazing lands, to improve livestock condition and ensure livestock survival through the dry season and to increase availability of animal-source foods including milk and meat for local diets. 

Earlier in the year, Chuma was given fodder crop seeds by government extension services but was unsure how best to cultivate and use them as dolichos lablab (hyacinth bean) and sunn hemp were new crops to him. This led him to work with Amalima Loko, where he participated in trainings on cultivation and processing for fodder crops and learned about optimal feeding mixes for livestock nutrition. He also joined a “look and learn” visit organized by the activity to see other smallholder farmers where fodder crops are already being grown and processed. 

Chuma family’s fodder harvest.

He planted 0.5 hectares each of sunn hemp and lablab and, as the dry season progresses, is now reaping the rewards. By the end of the growing season, Chuma had harvested 550 bales (3,850 kilograms) of the new fodder crops. Now, in the dry season, he feeds each of his cows four kilograms of fodder daily. He has also been able to sell surplus fodder to other smallholder farmers in his community, having sold 70 bales at $3 each, and is using the $210 profit to help pay for his children’s education. 

“I was a bit skeptical growing fodder for the first time,” Chuma said. “However, now that I am feeding my cattle and goats, I have realized that I have been missing out on an easy way to keep my livestock healthy and in good condition. I do not have to worry about my livestock perishing from drought. The fodder is enough to take my livestock to the next rainy season.” 

From the outset, Chuma noticed an immediate increase in milk production from his cows—milk that his family consumes in addition to their normal dry season diet. His wife, Josephine Chuma, attests to how their family is benefitting from this: 

“Since we started feeding the cows with fodder, we have been consuming more milk than before because the cows are producing more,” she said. “The milking period has also extended. There is enough for us to use and we still leave ample for the calves to suckle.” 

Inspired by their success, other local farmers are now also interested in producing fodder for themselves next year. Chuma is sharing his experiences with other farmers and hopes that if they produce their own fodder, his community will become more resilient, with meat and milk production increasing and pressure on local grazing lands reducing. Together, the Chuma family and their neighbors are transforming the landscape in Binga District, increasing agricultural production, promoting sustainability of local natural resources and contributing to a brighter and future for their families and community. 

Harnessing Innovative Technologies and Business Linkages to Increase Food Security in Niger

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Agriculture technologies, farmer-to-farmer connections and access to markets are important determinants in ensuring that families and communities have access to a reliable source of quality food that is affordable. Business-to-business events strengthen linkages between market systems actors across locations, including input and technology suppliers, microfinance institutions, and farmers’ producer organizations. With the aim of increasing these important linkages, from June 6-8, 2023, USAID Yalwa facilitated the Technology and Innovation Market in Maradi, Niger to scale emerging innovative technologies to new potential users and to create business opportunities for market system actors, particularly youth, women entrepreneurs and people living with disabilities.

The Market showcased 26 producer organizations, 22 private enterprises, three NGOs (Catholic Relief Services, CARE International and ONG Niger Développement (N-DEV)) and the University of Maradi from the Dosso, Niamey, Maradi, and Zinder regions. Exhibitors promoted technologies related to food processing, animal production (e.g., small ruminants, poultry, livestock feed, poultry feed, technical inputs) and agricultural inputs (fertilizers such as locally produced natural rock phosphate). With over 207 exhibitors, USAID Yalwa’s collaboration with the Government of Niger and other USAID implementing partners (Sahel Collaboration and Communication, Livestock System Innovation Lab, and Youth Connect) contributed to the Market’s success. For example, N-DEV strengthened business relationships with individual buyers through the marketing of poultry incubators, dryers and mills and solar-powered irrigation pumps. Further, forty-six young entrepreneurs who were selected through Yalwa’s Marketplace Entrepreneurship and Youth Entrepreneurship for Rural Innovation in-kind grant funds established business relationships with exhibitors and increased their knowledge about innovative technologies.

Ali Sayabou, an entrepreneurial farmer from Yalwa’s grant program in the Maradi Region, was interested in the Market to see different incubator technologies for his chicken coop expansion.

“I was really impressed with Technology/Innovation fair this year. Exhibitors showcased an incredible array of advanced agricultural technologies. I particularly enjoyed the demonstration of the solar-powered irrigation pumps and the large incubators. The company representatives were very knowledgeable and ready to answer all my questions,” he said. “I would have liked to see more affordable specialized machines for small farms, but overall, it was a rewarding experience and I came away with lots of ideas to modernize my operation.”

To address the needs of farmer like Sayabou, USAID Yalwa has two funding programs for youth and women entrepreneurs, namely the Market Entrepreneurship Program and the Youth and Rural Innovation Entrepreneurship Program. These programs aim to provide farmers with equipment, agricultural processing products and training in several areas such as equipment maintenance, management, etc.

The Market exhibitors sold products and materials worth $6,743.90 (4,135,000 FCFA) over the course of the three-day event. Balami sheep and natural rock phosphate fertilizer were the most frequently purchased items by producer organizations, pointing to the strength of Yalwa’s partnerships with the University of Maradi and SOFIA S.A. As next steps, USAID Yalwa will monitor after-sale services and develop a joint plan with other implementing partners and stakeholders to scale the accessibility of technologies across partner projects’ intervention areas. The Technology and Innovation Market was such a success that many participants requested it be an annual event to continue the momentum of creating linkages across markets, businesses, and technologies.

Increasing Access to Agriculture Machinery to Improve Productivity of Administrative Boundary Line Farmers

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Low productivity is a persistent problem in Imereti, a landlocked administrative region in western Georgia, bordered by the Russian occupied territory of Samachablo (South Ossetia) and therefore considered an Administrative Boundary Line territory (ABL). Very few farmers in the Imereti region have access to machinery and equipment in the ABL, especially due to the privatization of assets by the state-owned Mekanizatori LTD. To address this market failure, in 2023 the USAID-funded Resilient Communities Program invested in five private sector companies to de-risk investments and open Farm Service Centers (FSCs) along the ABL. 

Outside view of the Alva Ltd. Farm Service Center.

One notable success story regards Alva Ltd., a FSC located in the Sachkhere municipality of the Imereti region that caters to four ABL communities. With the Program’s support, Alva Ltd. acquired modern, high-capacity agricultural machinery and integrated much needed mechanization technologies into their services. Soon after receiving support from the Program, Alva Ltd. began providing machinery services to 50 ABL farmers for cultivation, tilling, pressing, and harvesting. These farmers are expected to improve their productivity, and increase the amount of land they can cultivate. Alva Ltd. also plans to start offering services to 500 additional farmers along the ABL in Sachkhere municipality, resulting in a significant transformation of this region’s agricultural landscape. 

Adaptive Management in Practice: Glola Natural Disaster

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The devastating landslide that struck the Shovi Resort on August 3, 2023, had an acute impact on the ABL (Administrative Boundary Line) community of Glola. Nearly all 110 households in the area were financially impacted by the disaster, as the village is reliant on tourists that vacation at the resort. Additionally, many tourism accommodation providers had previously taken out loans which could not be repaid due to the landslide’s impact on the tourism economy. 

The USAID Resilient Communities Program took quick action to support the continuation of businesses in the community, to maintain incomes and livelihoods and prevent the outmigration of disheartened residents of Glola. Within less than six weeks of the disaster’s occurrence, the Program designed and began implementing disaster response efforts. Specifically, the Program supported the local municipality to repair a water pipe headway in Glola that was destroyed during the landslide. It was urgent to repair the headway before winter, to prevent the village’s sole water source from freezing.  

The Program also rapidly designed a Request for Applications (RFA) to support the community’s tourism sector. This RFA will provide grants to guesthouses and local food and agricultural businesses that supply food to tourists (bakeries, restaurants and other suppliers of food). To develop the RFA, the Program first visited Glola to assess the needs of local businesses. During this visit, the Program determined that many potential grantees would struggle with submitting a grant proposal. In response, the Program adjusted its approach and simplified the grant application form. The program also adjusted content presented at the grant information session to allow potential applicants to discuss their ideas and gain a good understanding of what the Program can and cannot fund. 

Lastly, the Program reached out to TBC bank, which had collected donations from the public for response efforts in Glola. The bank committed $20,000 to the Glola RFA. Additionally, the Program has allocated around $100,000 to support Glola’s businesses and strengthen the resilience of their local economy. 

Microfinancing and Technical Trainings Help Benin Farmer Get Ahead

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For the past 32 years, Marc Tasso, a cashew producer from the village of Gararou in northeastern Benin, has carefully worked to maintain his orchard. Over time, this task has become more arduous with difficulties in pruning the branches and weeding the floor affecting the quality and sustainability of his orchard, resulting in lower yields. His orchard soon became overgrown, limiting room for branches to fruit effectively and for crews to collect fallen nuts. To add to complications, any time or money put into rehabilitation and renovation initiatives—which are needed—would put serious strain on his livelihood since cashew production is his main source of income.

To support cashew producers in similar situations to Tasso, the USDA Food for Progress West Africa PRO-Cashew Project helps build capacity to rehabilitate and renovate their orchards. Through training sessions hosted by the Project, Tasso and other members from his community were able to learn about enhanced pruning techniques, how to identify aged cashew trees in need of replacement, proper spacing for planting, how to apply fertilizers most effectively and general maintenance and weeding best practices to facilitate the harvesting of fallen nuts. They also received financial skill building sessions focused on available financial services in their localities, personal financial management, financial management for agricultural domains, long-term financial planning, management of credit, risk management and insurance plans, knowledge of mobile money systems, e-security, financial security, networking and marketing, contractualization with cashew industry processors and gender dynamics in the cashew nut industry.

“My harvest was getting smaller and smaller as the trees got older,” Tasso said. “The trees were no longer producing at an ideal level. It was very difficult financially because the sale of cashew nuts brought me very little money, which made it even more difficult maintain my plantation and take care of my other needs.”

After consulting a Fédération Nationale des Producteurs d’Anacarde du Bénin (FENAPAB) agricultural adviser, working in partnership with the PRO-Cashew Project, Tasso was made aware of a plantation maintenance loan option available to him through PADME (Promotion et l’Appui au Développement des Micro-Entreprises), a microfinance institution in his village.

Marc Tasso on his cashew orchard.

From here, the adviser helped him file for the loan, and he was able to obtain $320 (200,000 FCFA) in credit. This allowed Tasso to hire professional service providers (PSP) trained by PRO-Cashew to help renovate his plantation. Among improvements, Tasso has spaced out his trees in the orchard to maximize production and rehabilitated older trees which are pruning to produce new yields. For others needing replacement, PRO-Cashew helped Tasso take advantage of a popular and successful program from the Government of Benin organized by their Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries called Programme National de Développement de la Filière Anacarde (PNDFA).  This program subsidizes close to 80% of the price per tree from approved nurseries sourcing high-quality plants with favorable traits that are climate resilient, have larger nuts and are known to be easier to transform. With PRO-Cashew having identified multiple of the government-approved nurseries in the region, the project subsidized close to $212 (132,000 FCFA) worth of trees, Tasso was able to obtain 220 grafted seedlings for only $35 (22,000 FCFA).

While waiting for his replacement cashew tress to produce their first harvest, Tasso intercropped his orchard with soybeans so that nitrogen fixation, a process designed to enrich the soil that supports the development of young cashew trees, could take place. This has already led to decent soy and cashew harvests which Tasso has been able to profit from—recovering a bit from last year’s financial hit due to weak yields.

“I’ve already harvested my soybeans and cashew nuts and I’ve repaid the loan and interest rate on time, thanks in large to the skills on cashew production I learned during the training course,” Tasso said. “My 7-hectare orchard, which used to produce barely a ton and a half of cashew nuts, has doubled its production thanks to the application of good agricultural practices such as weeding, pruning and, above all, the thinning that the PSP carried out in my field.”

As next steps, Tasso plans to increase his orchard’s production to five tons in the coming years, especially once all trees are fully productive. With more developments on the horizon still, Tasso’s income has already increased, making over $725 in sales (451,490 FCFA)—double the amount of his loan.

Once his new grafted seedlings start producing cashew nuts, Tasso will almost certainly be able to reach his production goals. With PRO-Cashew grafted seedlings taking three years to provide their first harvest—two years less than with conventional cashew seeds—these results are expected to happen sooner than later. Tasso is also working with Korosho, a PRO-Cashew grantee, to obtain agriculture certifications that will enable him to reach higher price points and reach international markets while upholding stronger standards of sustainability.

Cashew Cultivation: An Opportunity for a New Start

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Jean-Baptiste Bationo, a farmer from Bouaflé in central Côte d’Ivoire

Less than five years ago, Jean-Baptiste Bationo, a farmer from Bouaflé in central Côte d’Ivoire, had no experience growing cashews and instead grew cocoa, which he had cultivated for over 20 years. However, with the cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV) devastating plantations across Côte d’Ivoire, Bationo’s harvests were affected, putting his operations in a tenuous situation. Bationo and farmers experiencing similar damage had to find a sustainable solution that would rid them of the CSSV problem and improve their activities for the long run.

This led Bationo to work with the USDA Food for Progress West Africa PRO-Cashew Project which offered to provide farmers with high-quality grafted seedlings as part of its cashew seedling initiative. This initiative aims to promote the expansion of trees with favorable traits such as larger nut sizes, resilience to climatic shifts and the ability to speed up the production of their first harvest, helping farmers increase their production and quality to be more competitive in local markets.

Seeing an opportunity to replace his virus-prone cacao with this new profitable crop, Bationo signed up to be shortlisted as a participant and eventually received 130 cashew seedlings from PRO-Cashew at a subsidized cost in 2022.

“I was very concerned, because I thought at the time [replacing my cacao plantation] was a huge loss for me,” Bationo said. “After all the effort I’d put into creating and growing my cacao plantation, I did not know what to do.”

For him, cashew planting was an ideal solution for replacing his cacao plantation. The grafted plants provided by PRO-Cashew are resistant to diseases and resilient to the effects of climate change. Additionally, cashew trees require less rainfall than cacao plantations.  Where cacao plantations require between 1,500-2,000 millimeters of rainfall annually, cashew trees only require 800-1,800 millimeters.[1][2]Finally, the grafted seedlings only take three years to produce their first harvest compared to the typical five years normal seedlings take, ensuring a quicker restart to his activities.

After taking advantage of the Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER) governmental program that supports farmers with uprooting their cacao crops to eradicate CSSV at no cost to farmers, Bationo’s plantation was ready to start fresh with his new cashew venture.

A year into the restoration of his plantation, his new cashew seedlings were developing well. And while waiting for the crops to start producing, Bationo decided to intercrop bananas and casava within the plantation to bring in an additional source of income. As he continues transitioning to a new and more sustainable agricultural endeavor, he hopes to serve as a source of inspiration to other cacao growers experiencing CSSV by helping them convert to the fruitful cashew sector.

For producers looking to transition into or enhance their cashew production, PRO-Cashew supports them to access improved planting materials, connect with technical experts that enhance their operations and participate in workshops designed to strengthen their financial management. The Project also works to build linkages with market actors such as seedling retailers—including those connected to commercial nurseries established through public-private partnerships, farm renovation and rehabilitation providers and rural-based service providers to help farmers develop transition plans and receive tree cutting and pruning services. With these options available, farmers like Bationo have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

[1] https://www.icco.org/growing-cocoa/#:~:text=Trees%20are%20very%20sensitive%20to,should%20not%20exceed%20three%20months.

[2] https://agroivoire.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/ftec-anacardier.pdf

Driving Development Along the Administrative Boundary Line: Supporting Locals to Transform Tourism in Chuberi

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When you cross the Sagergili bridge on the way to Svaneti, turn left and you will arrive at one of the hidden delights of Western Georgia – the village of Chuberi. Surrounded by the majestic Northern Caucus ridge, nestled in the picturesque Nenskra river valley, and located just nine kilometers from the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia, Chuberi is rapidly emerging as a mini tourism destination in lower Svaneti, a mere hour away from Zugdidi.

Chuberi’s history is deeply rooted in ancient times, as evidenced by archaeological excavations. The Larilari burial grounds have revealed significant artifacts, including cremated bodies from the 8th-7th centuries BCE and gold coins minted in the names of Alexander the Great and King Lysimachus. These remarkable findings provide a glimpse into the past, showcasing the village’s historical significance.

Mikha Pilpani founder of Feel Funny Guesthouse

Amidst the stunning natural beauty of Chuberi and believing in the community’s ability to become a thriving hub for travelers seeking an authentic Georgian experience, a group of visionary locals are harnessing its tourism potential. One of these individuals is Mikha Pilpani, a proud seventh generation Chuberi native. Despite completing university studies in Tbilisi, Pilpani wanted to return to Chuberi and tourism provided him with an opportunity to have his own business while living in the place where he grew up. Pilpani embarked on a remarkable endeavor: the creation of the Feel Funny House guesthouse. Armed with determination and the knowledge he gained from YouTube tutorials, Pilpani set out to build the guesthouse.

His long-term vision for Chuberi extends beyond the guesthouse and is rooted in the belief that Chuberi possesses immense untapped tourism potential waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls from around the world. “I want Chuberi to be more than just a place on the map. I want travelers to come here and experience the unique culture, the breathtaking landscapes and the warmth of our community, he said.” With the support of the USAID Resilient Communities Program, he plans to introduce additional services that showcase the natural beauty of the community including horse riding tours along picturesque trails, thrilling hikes and bike tours. By expanding the offerings, he hopes to extend the stay of tourists in Chuberi from two to four nights. The increased tourism receipts will allow him to employ four to five locals in his business as stable hands and guides.

Mariam Khatchvani, a renowned Georgian filmmaker and a native of Svaneti, sees the cultural attraction of the Chuberi community. She has been organizing the Svaneti International Film Festival for three years and this year decided to expand showings of films to the Chuberi community. Mariam is driven to showcase the profound beauty of Mestia, intricate traditional values and the rich cultural heritage of the region. Chuberi had the honor of hosting a special event at the film festival- an open-air screening of the award-winning film “Dede,” directed by Khatchvani, which was filmed in the Svaneti mountains. When asked about the importance of the festival, Khatchvani replied, “The film festival holds the power to allure renowned actors, drawing in film-lovers and tourists thereby making significant contributions to the development of tourism and the promotion of Svaneti.” With the support of USAID, judges from the world-famous Sundance Film Festival were able to attend the festival together with 50 Georgian filmmakers, putting the festival on the international map.

While Pilpani and Khatchvani are driving the Chuberi community to embrace tourism, there are many challenges along the way. There is a pressing need to improve road access to the community, offer more accommodation and increase marketing efforts. Many community members are already seeing the benefit of developing tourism as a way to keep their community a vibrant, active and resilient place to live. Much like Pilpani’s example, tourism can be a reason for young people to return to the community. With individuals like Pilpani and Khatchvani, more tourists will flock to the hidden charm of Chuberi as the village continues to hold the promise of a bright and prosperous future, enriched by the dreams and aspirations of its people.

Growing Nutritious, Accessible and Resilient Food Systems in Burkina Faso

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USAID Yidgiri improves rural incomes and stimulates demand for nutritious foods by supporting agro-processors to grow.

The processing of locally available, nutrient-rich crops can be a source of economic opportunity for many smallholder producers in Burkina Faso. Implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), the Feed the Future-funded USAID Yidgiri Activity supports agro-processors to overcome institutional, financial, environmental and market-related barriers so that they can easily and sustainably increase the local supply of safe, nutritious foods. It also partners with producer organizations, processors and other market actors to help them understand consumer needs and preferences in order to raise nutritional awareness and facilitate increased demand for these foods at the community and household levels.

Since 2022, USAID Yidgiri has trained 236 processors and retailers, including 109 women, on improved manufacturing practices and packaging standards, good hygiene and enhanced food storage and preservation techniques, while helping them to establish strong markets for their products. Training has also focused on strengthening sales techniques, canvassing for new points of sale and marketing goods to relevant distribution networks to help improve household incomes and enhance the nutritional status of women and children.

To date, USAID Yidgiri’s support to agro-processors has led to the establishment of 96 new points of sale and the generation of almost $1 million for producers like Awa Clémence Kabore that sell orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, milk and other products made from cowpea and small ruminants.

Kabore, an entrepreneur from Kaya who sells flour and chips made from home-grown orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, received training to upgrade her sales and distribution networks after an analysis conducted by USAID Yidgiri identified her business as having the potential to grow. Equipped with new skills and ideas to expand her business, Kabore successfully connected with nearby retail stores, 10 of which agreed to stock her products, and in less than four months was able to triple her monthly income from approximately $335 (200,000 FCFA) to approximately $1,000 (598,800 FCFA).

As Awa Clémence Kabore continues to develop her business, she anticipates that she will have the financial capacity to further diversify her products and establish her own store specializing in the sale of orange-fleshed sweet potato chips.

“USAID Yidgiri lives up to its name [“grow” in the Mòoré language] by helping us grow and open up economic opportunities. The testimonies I receive from customers and food managers continue to encourage me because they reinforce that my products are innovative and of good quality,” Kabore said while looking proudly at her products.

Through trainings conducted to build the capacity of agro-processors in Burkina Faso, USAID Yidgiri provides opportunities for entrepreneurs and producer organizations to increase their incomes and develop resilient livelihoods. Likewise, CNFA works to strengthen agricultural market systems across the Sahel—especially in the cowpea, poultry and small ruminant value chains. In 2022, CNFA trained over 6,000 producers, agrodealers, processors, breeders and traders in Mali to improve their agricultural practices, established more than 300 demonstration plots for agricultural producers in Burkina Faso and almost doubled the number of Nigerien producer organizations it supported, from 384 in 2020 to 658 in 2022.

Community Visioning Prioritizes Needs and Facilitates a Tangible Sense of Ownership

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In Matabeleland North, one of the driest and most food insecure regions in Zimbabwe, USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded Amalima Loko activity empowers communities to address and take ownership of their development priorities. In Daluka Village, Ward 19, Lupane, community leader Moven Ngwenya reflects on his community’s experience a year after the village started the Community Visioning (CV) process.

“Amalima Loko set us in motion,” said Ngwenya, whose village’s CV process kicked off in June 2021 with the planning and preparation stage, which involves a series of exercises for communities to identify their existing structures, assets and formal and informal capacities to inform local transformation plans at the village and ward level. During this stage, communities generate a range of resources, including a socio-economic map, community resource map, historical timeline, vulnerability matrix and seasonal calendar for crops and livestock.

“We took part in several discussions on long-term food security and resilience planning,” Ngwenya recalls of the planning and preparation stage. “We started with resource mapping, during which we were asked questions about how we lived, what we had and what a thriving community looked like,” he recounted. “When they asked us what a thriving community would look like, we realized immediately that we were onto something life-changing and that we had taken an important step towards creating something that would provide the community of Daluka with some tangible sense of ownership.”

Ngwenya recalled that during discussions, Amalima Loko staff worked with the CV participants to overcome differences in community priorities. “At first, we had competing needs,” he said. “Some wanted food, others water, while others wanted schools and bridges. We worked with Amalima Loko to rank and prioritize our needs.”

These discussions feed into a cohesive community vision, including goals and actionable steps, with a focus on resilience. In Daluka village, ultimately community discussions led to the prioritization of water access through drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes that can provide clean water for people and livestock.

“We identified access to water as an important and immediate need,” Ngwenya said. “We concluded with a concrete action plan at village and ward level, where we now have both short-term and long-term goals that we are striving to achieve in solidarity as a community.”

The Daluka Ward 19 Transformation Plan was finalized in December 2021, and set goals such that by 2030, community members, inclusive of all genders and abilities, will have access to adequate potable water, productive agriculture, market linkages, improved health and nutrition, education, inclusive skills development, natural resources management skills and  recreational services.

Ngwenya’s  community is now in the implementation stage of the CV process, where communities take actions to achieve the goals outlined in the transformation plans. Accomplishments to date include:

  • Ten boreholes in the watershed cluster rehabilitated with Amalima Loko support (two within Daluka Ward).
  • Five new boreholes targeted for construction in the watershed cluster (one within Daluka Ward) by Amalima Loko—currently at the solar installation stage.
  • One rehabilitated borehole completed by Mafinyela Village through collective action independent of Amalima Loko.
  • Gulley reclamation conservation works throughout the ward.
  • Rehabilitated feeder roads from Sibangani Village leading to major health facilities.

“The Community Visioning process under the Amalima Loko program has been a true turning point for the Daluka community,” Ngwenya said. “Amalima Loko came through with a Community Visioning approach which gave us direction and strengthened our voices to determine projects and set the pace at which we wanted this development to happen. I must say this was a welcome initiative.”

Amalima Loko is funded by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and implemented by CNFA. It is designed to improve food and nutrition security for more than 82,800 vulnerable households in rural Zimbabwe through increased food access and sustainable watershed management. The activity’s Community Visioning process has reached over 42,000 people of diverse genders, ages, abilities and social groups in more than 500 villages.