Gwetsayi et al
Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 6 (3), pp. 056-064, October 2016
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2015 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 082116130
Urban Horticulture for Food Security and Livelihood Restoration in Mutare City, Eastern Zimbabwe
Rufaro, T. Gwetsayi1, 2, Lighton Dube3 and Clayton Mashapa1, 2 *
1Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, P.O. Box 1320, Mutare,
2formerly, Caritas International Zimbabwe, Roman Catholic Diocese of Mutare, P.O. Box 877, Mutare, Zimbabwe.
3Faculty of Commerce and Law, Zimbabwe Open University, National Office, P. O Box MP
111, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Caritas International Zimbabwe implemented a food security restoration project targeting 1,000 vulnerable households in Mutare urban, eastern Zimbabwe. The objectives of the study were to determine whether targeted households were able to improve household income from sale of horticultural produce and to assess if these households were improving their household dietary diversity. Data were collected from a random sample of 100 household heads through interviews in December 2014. Desk reviews of Mutare urban food security project reports (baseline and end line surveys) were done. Results show that the urban horticulture project improved household income of about 70% (n = 70) of the targeted households by then. By December 2014 household food consumption score (FCS) among the project targeted households had improved beyond FCS > 35 as compared to baseline status. Mutare urban farmers were coached to practice market oriented horticulture production to enjoy both a diversified diet themselves and to sell to the market, through which they were getting a net profit of at least US$80/month per household. We conclude that the Mutare urban horticulture project improved food and nutrition security and restore livelihoods for the targeted poor urban dwellers as at December 2014. Such market-led horticulture project formulation is a worthy feasibility studies for options for replication in related project area context which could be proposed.
Keywords: Food security, market linkages, poverty alleviation, urban agriculture.
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