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Publication | 2022

Food Systems Profile - Zimbabwe - Catalysing the sustainable and inclusive transformation of food systems

The study identifies the following systemic levers for the transformation toward sustainable food systems in Zimbabwe:

  • In line with current decentralization, strengthen local level institutions, which can be a conduit for improved natural resource management. Leveraging existing, multistakeholder Food and Nutrition Security Committees at the subnational level to form sound environmental planning, implementations, law enforcement and monitoring bodies would strengthen local food systems and enhance accountability. Improving the capacity of the existing extension services can rapidly affect most of the country. A strong focus needs to be on improved soil management, agroecological practices and innovative livestock feed solutions.

  • Introduce mechanisms that support sustainable land management. This can be done by strengthening government extension services, farmers unions and the role of traditional leaders to govern and manage these schemes to encourage better implementation of environmental protection policies. Other leverage points are the following: revision of policies to encourage consistency; better monitoring of policy implementation and the condition of natural resources; gradual, orderly, land reform to decongest communal areas; encouraging civil society to work together; and sharing of success stories and research findings.

  • Follow through on government nutrition policies and, especially, strengthen multi-stakeholder Food and Nutrition Security Committees at national and subnational levels for behavioural change campaigns, including nutrition education. It can be done by implementing nationwide, multi-stakeholder, multimedia nutrition awareness and behavioural-change campaigns using influencers and opinion leaders.

  • Facilitating platforms for strengthened government, civic and private sector institution collaboration within the food systems. Another important leverage point is improved regulation of the private sector with regard to production, marketing and importing of unhealthy processed foods and improved food safety regulations.

  • Facilitate production diversification and increased productivity. This can be achieved by attaining improved farming practices (including intensification) through better extension support; distribution of more appropriate inputs (traditional seed varieties, livestock breeds and organic fertilizers) though government, private sector and NGO schemes, and de-risking and providing incentives for private sector investment into diverse “‘healthy” food production, processing, food and livestock feed manufacturing in rural areas.

  • Encourage demand for environmentally suitable “healthy food” crops among different stakeholders. This can be achieved by developing suitable markets (among consumers, food manufacturers and livestock feed producers) and promoting import substitution.

  • Policy support to stimulate private and public sector investment in rural areas and overall value chain development.

  • Facilitate and strengthen smallholder, youth and women’s organizations.