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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Smallholder farmers benefit from Green Climate Fund

Story by Theophilus Chuma

RESILIENCE programmes under the government-led Green Climate Fund have become a practical tool to eliminate the threat of hunger in vulnerable communities through early warning programmes.

Never mind the scorching heat, Mwenezi farmer, Shadreck Shava has an impressive sorghum crop, one that will ensure survival for his family with a surplus to sell and boost his income.

Mwenezi is dry, but even in this parched land, Shava has found his fountain.

“I want to thank the government and all the partners who have come through with critical lessons on how we can be safeguarded from drought. Even as many are struggling with the drought farmers who heeded government advice through early warning and the crops to focus on are well off in this area,” he says.

Shava is among hundreds of farmers from this area who have benefited from the Green Climate Fund, a government-led initiative through a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The initiative is meant to improve food security and build resilience for people whose livelihoods are at risk in the face of climate change.

“We have been receiving support and information through radio and this has assisted in boosting awareness and preparedness.”

Mobile phone text messages have been a vital component to reach out to farmers with current statistics showing 160 000 of them have so far benefited from the programme.

“It has been a critical avenue to reach farmers because it allows them to download the information and understand what exactly to expect in the season,” says UNDP Communications Associate, Mr Anesu Freddy.

Apart from early warning mechanisms, the programme has ensured the adoption and application of climate-resilient agronomic practices as well as cropping systems through the training of smallholder farmers and designing of climate-resilient innovations.

“This is a programme that will impact thousands of families in Mwenezi where most families are at risk of climate shocks because of the ecological setup of this area,” said Green Climate Fund focal person, Engineer Rangarirai Mutusva.

Now in its fourth year, the Green Climate Fund has been a critical pedestal to the revitalisation and climate-proofing of existing irrigation schemes across the country.

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