Press Release

CNFA Awarded Amalima Loko Food Security Project in Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that it has been awarded and will implement a new $75 million program designed to improve food security in Zimbabwe through increased food access and sustainable watershed management.

The five-year Amalima Loko project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, will work with local and international partners and Government of Zimbabwe stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of more than 67,000 families, comprising 188,000 people across five districts of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North Province. The project’s name derives from the Ndebele word Amalima, which signifies a group of people coming together to achieve a common goal, and the Tonga word Loko, which means “genuine” or “authentic.”

Amalima Loko will build on the success of the Amalima project, a seven-year, USAID-funded program implemented by CNFA that ended earlier this year. The previous program sustainably improved food security and nutrition for more than 118,000 vulnerable Zimbabwean households in Matabeleland North and South Provinces using a watershed management approach. This learning will serve as the foundation for the new project which will focus on a unique ‘community visioning’ approach to build and strengthen household resilience. The project will also work on improving watershed infrastructure and practices to provide a foundation for improved agriculture-based livelihoods.

“Amalima Loko continues CNFA’s legacy of developing and implementing creative solutions to improve the incomes, livelihoods and nutrition of vulnerable Zimbabwean households,” said CNFA President and Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “CNFA looks forward to working with our network of dedicated partners to implement community-led strategies while enhancing community resilience and improving food security in Zimbabwe.”

Under Amalima Loko, CNFA will:

  • Enhance inclusive local ownership over food security and resilience development through “community visioning” that strengthens the ability of communities to identify their own priorities and define solutions to support social cohesion and resilience. As the foundation of the Amalima Loko approach, community visioning will engage stakeholders in an inclusive planning process and mobilize community action groups around development priorities, including gender and youth dynamics, social safety nets and disaster risk reduction.
  • Improve health and availability of soil, water and plant resources within the watershed by working at the micro-catchment level and using an integrated water resource management approach to improve community ownership, use and governance of watershed resources. Amalima Loko also will implement “cash for assets” programming to provide a cash infusion to vulnerable households, while also building the community asset base through watershed infrastructure and conservation works such as dams, soil conservation and erosion control measures, and rehabilitation of degraded areas.
  • Improve human health and livelihoods by strengthening individual and household capacities to weather shocks and stresses, and improving their ability to thrive with good health, a sufficient and stable asset base, and adequate and reliable income. The program will also enhance nutrition and health for women of reproductive age and children under five through the promotion of improved nutrition and health behaviors; a blanket food distribution program using the “first 1,000 days” approach which stresses good nutrition during a child’s first 1,000 days of cognitive and physical development; and the promotion of diverse livelihood strategies based on village savings and lending group participation, business skill building, and asset accumulation to help households manage the risk and impact of shocks and stresses.

To learn more about Amalima Loko project, please visit


About CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments, and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 47 countries around the world.