The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has launched a programme to improve food and nutrition availability in the country through market based input assistance.
The US$11,5 million programme, which is being spearheaded by FAO, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, will run for 12 months covering the 2012 to 2013 farming season.
Speaking at the launch, the Permanent Secretary in the agriculture ministry, Mr Ngoni Masoka said it is encouraging to note that the programme will bring much needed relief to affected households.
The launch also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and its partners.
A total of 60 000 smallholder farmers will be assisted this coming season and 40 000 of them will receive cropping inputs support, while 20 000 will access livestock assistance through livestock fairs.
Farmers will be given paper vouchers to buy livestock, feeds and inputs.
Meanwhile, Mr Masoka applauded FAO and its partners saying the programme will compliment government policy and direction in agriculture by ensuring improved farmers access to finance and markets.
The ceremony was attended by the Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mathews Neuhaus, DFID Zimbabwe office Head, Ms Jane Rintoul as well as FAO representatives.