IFAD in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has been a member of IFAD since the country became independent in 1980. It has worked closely with IFAD in developing programmes that focus on improving the living conditions of poor rural people. In January 2006 however, IFAD’s financial support to all operations in Zimbabwe ceased as a result of non-payment of arrears. Three ongoing projects were closed at that time. The government is now in the process of clearing overdue repayments. IFAD is committed to resuming its development programme to assist the government in reducing poverty as soon as the outstanding issue of arrears and deliverables from the previous operations has been addressed. In the meantime IFAD has provided small grants to the country to fund a range of projects.
IFAD’s strategy in Zimbabwe
IFAD’s previous portfolio in Zimbabwe was extremely successful in terms of impact and results, and any future initiatives will maintain the same geographical focus and strategic framework. In particular, the Dry Areas Development Programme and the Smallholder Irrigation programme provide important guidelines for future operations in support of smallholder farmers in dry areas.
A future strategy must give priority to enhancing economic stability and boosting productivity and incomes. Because of a crucial level of food insecurity, the immediate focus will be on providing smallholder farmers with training in improved agricultural technology, and with inputs such as fertilizers and seeds, to help boost production and productivity.