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OPEC Fund loan to improve food security and climate resilience in Zimbabwe
Photo: CECIL BO DZWOWA/Shutterstock.com
The OPEC Fund for International Development is providing a US$15 million loan to the Republic of Zimbabwe in support of the Smallholder Agriculture Cluster Project (SACP) to increase productivity and improve household incomes. Co-financed with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the private sector, the program will help to transform the small-scale farming sector and increase farmers’ participation in market-oriented and climate-smart value chains.
The loan is provided under OPEC Fund’s Food Security Action Plan, a US$1 billion commitment to address global food insecurity. SACP will target key urban and rural agricultural production and food trading corridors in five provinces - Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Midlands and Matabeleland North and benefit 78,000 small scale farmers. Fifty per cent of the beneficiaries will be women and at least 30 per cent will be youth.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said:
“Addressing global food insecurity and protecting the most vulnerable and affected populations is a priority for the OPEC Fund. Improving productivity and sustainability of small-holder farmers in Zimbabwe will help to create new employment and improve livelihoods.”
In Zimbabwe, nearly 70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture as a source of livelihood. Agricultural productivity is affected by frequent droughts, irregular rainfall and floods as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening food security and increasing vulnerability of the poor populations in rural areas.
SACP is a comprehensive program with three components, which focus on inclusive value chain development, climate proof infrastructure and institutional support. The OPEC Fund’s loan will finance the construction small-scale irrigation schemes to equip a total area of 1,780 ha with improved, climate proofed irrigation systems, the rehabilitation of 89 km of feeder roads, and equipment of 100 wards with water supply and sanitation facilities.
SACP is aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG1: No Poverty, SDG2: No Hunger, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 15: Life on Land.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Positive Outlook by S&P in 2021. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.