USAID Resilience ANCHORS and Zimbabwean NGO LEAD Launch Partnership to Enhance Climate Smart Agriculture

On August 17, 2023, the USAID Resilience through Accelerating New Community-Based Holistic Outcomes for Resource Sustainability Activity (Resilience ANCHORS) launched a partnership with Zimbabwean NGO Linkages for Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged (LEAD) to support smallholder farmers in the implementation of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies; horticulture crop production and value chain development; and Non-Timber Forestry Products (NTFPs) commercialization in the Southeast Lowveld (SEL) landscape. This partnership will enhance Resilience ANCHORS’ work to improve sustainable natural resource governance, safeguard biodiversity, and build community resilience.

LEAD will develop value chains for a range of cash crops and liaise with private sector companies to support farmers’ access to markets and to strengthen rural agro-enterprises. The partnership will build on Resilience ANCHORS’ ongoing efforts in community-based natural resource management and climate change adaptation across the drought-prone districts of Chipinge, Chiredzi, Bikita, Hwange and Binga. It will support the project’s efforts to coordinate farmer groups within the same locality to form clusters that will participate in training and marketing. In addition, the partnership will facilitate interaction between farmers and private-sector partners. Nearly 7,000 farmers will benefit from the partnership, which also promotes locally led development in Zimbabwe.

USAID Resilience ANCHORS Chief of Party, Jeremy Swanson, welcomed the new collaboration, paying tribute to LEAD’s experience in increasing agricultural yields and livelihood opportunities for rural households and promoting farmers and private sector engagement for sustainable market-responsive economic activities.

“We are thrilled to partner with LEAD to enable greater numbers of farmers to overcome the challenges associated with climate change. Their adoption of climate smart agriculture strategies will lead to greater resilience among communities,” he said. 

LEAD will establish demonstration plots where farmer groups will learn by doing. LEAD Chief Executive Officer, Eliot Takaindisa, explained that the partnership is in line with the organization’s vision to build resilience, enhance food security, and advance enterprise development.

“We have an outstanding team ready to roll out activities and ensure that we promote village-level resilience along selected value chains,” he said. 

USAID Resilience ANCHORS is a five-year activity implemented by ECODIT focused on increasing the capacity of communities to sustainably protect and manage community-based natural resources and the wildlife economy. ECODIT is a U.S. women-owned small business (WOSB) with 30 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities around the world to advance inclusive environmentally- and socially- responsible development. LEAD has nearly 20 years of experience in transforming farmer groups into viable enterprises across Zimbabwe, and in strengthening their leadership and governance capacities.