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Press releases


UK supports small scale farmers PDF Print E-mail

UK supports small scale farmers

THE United Kingdom has pledged to support small-scale farmers in the country to boost yields and help them find lucrative markets for their produce.

Speaking at the Agro-Initiative Zimbabwe (AIZ) awards last week, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) programme manager for governance, wealth creation and vulnerability team, Indranil Chakrabarti said the support was meant to create jobs as well as raise income for the poor in Zimbabwe.

The programme, which is being implemented through TechnoServe Zimbabwe, offers support for the revitalisation of the micro-finance sector and provides revolving loans to small-to-medium sized rural agri-businesses.

“A growing private sector will not only provide the poor with the capacity to find jobs and improve their incomes, it will ultimately enable governments in developing countries to generate the tax revenues needed to support their people,” said Chakrabarti.

Zimbabwe and Britain have not been on best terms following the invasions of white-owned commercial farms by war veterans.

TechnoServe recently launched a business plan competition termed AIZ, targeted at existing medium-sized businesses with creative and sustainable ideas in agriculture.

Winners in the AIZ 2012 awards include The Veg Enterprises, Progene Seeds (Pvt) Ltd and Staywell Trading, among others.

Each of the winners will receive seed capital of US$50 000 and a package of technical assistance tailored to their business needs.

In his mid-term fiscal policy review, Finance minister Tendai Biti said the agricultural sector played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s economy as it could significantly reduce poverty, entrench economic stability and growth.

The sector provides income for 70% of the country’s population, 60% of raw materials for industrial requirements and 40% of total export earnings. — BY OUR STAFF

Reference

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/2012/08/26/uk-supports-small-scale-farmers/

 

 
Partner Development Focused NGOs: Government PDF Print E-mail

Partner development focused NGOs: Govt
Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Agriculture Reporter
GOVERNMENT has challenged business and funding agencies to partner development-focused non-governmental organisations and provide financial assistance to benefit small-scale farmers. Speaking at the launch of the Agro-Initiative Zimbabwe 2012 competition in Harare on Monday, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said Government’s partnership with TechnoServe demonstrated its support of development partners that can address poverty.

“This partnership with my Ministry was born on May 24, 2011 when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TechnoServe Zimbabwe.
“Within this collaborative environment, in April of last year, TechnoServe successfully launched Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2011, in an effort to revitalise the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe,” she said. Minister Nyoni said Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2011 received many high quality applications, from which the top five innovative, far-reaching and ideas with impact were selected to receive the capital prize of US$50 000 each plus TechnoServe’s technical advisory support.
She said last year’s five winners were currently working with 1 442 small scale farmers in areas such as Honde Valley, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo peri urban and the three Mashonaland provinces.

“It is assumed that by the end of three years those farmers will have earned over US$10 million incremental income as a direct result of the competition,” Minister Nyoni said.The overall prize to winners of Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2012 competition, she said, would address challenges faced by the medium scale businesses and the small-scale farmers. Chief among the challenges, Minister Nyoni said, was access to finance.She said Government believed Agro Initiative Zimbabwe would provide the spark required for the agricultural sector to flourish once again. Besides financial support, Agro Initiative Zimbabwe provides technical assistance to help develop technical skills among business leaders, she said.

TechnoServe country director Margaret Rose said organisation was engaged in detailed business planning, financial modelling and scenario planning, investigating markets and company valuations. TechnoServe first came to Zimbabwe in 2010 and as a development organisation realised that there was vast human skills that could be utilised through support to development and business ideas hence the birth of Agro Initiative Zimbabwe.
Agro Initiative Zimbabwe is a business plan competition targeted at existing medium-sized Zimbabwean businesses with creative sustainable ideas in agriculture and agri-business. AIZ supports innovative ideas that demonstrate the inclusion of smallholder farmers or rural communities such as outgrower or contract farming models and have the potential to influence wider industrial development. Winners will receive between US$25 000 and US$50 000 capital prize to implement their initiative and a package of technical assistance tailored to the needs of their businesses.

http://www.herald.co.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39325:partner-development-focused-ngos-govt&catid=47:agriculture&Itemid=139

 
2012 Agro Initiative Zimbabwe Press Release PDF Print E-mail

2012 Agro Initiative Zimbabwe Launch Press Release
TechnoServe Zimbabwe will be launching the 2012 Agro Initiative Zimbabwe business-plan competition on Monday, 16th April 2012 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Harare.

Agro Initiative Zimbabwe is a business plan competition, implemented by TechnoServe Zimbabwe, targeted at existing medium-sized Zimbabwean businesses with creative and sustainable ideas in agriculture and agri-business. AIZ supports innovative ideas that demonstrate the inclusion of smallholder farmers/rural communities such as out-grower or contract-farming models and have the potential to influence wider industry development.

TechnoServe Inc, is a private non-profit international development organization headquartered in Washington, DC, USA. It has offices in over 34 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Its mission is business solutions to poverty. TechnoServe seeks to help entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth for their families, communities and countries.

TechnoServe Zimbabwe was established  and registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation in 2011 under its host ministry, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. TechnoServe Zimbabwe runs several programmes across the agriculture value chain, including the business-plan competition, Agro Initiative Zimbabwe.

Agro Initiative Zimbabwe (AIZ) was launched by TechnoServe on 29 April 2011 and is aimed at supporting creative and sustainable ideas in agriculture. The design and implementation of AIZ was developed through a consultative process, with input from over 200 professionals from key sectors, including business executives, economists, and leading figures in agriculture and finance

Winners of Agro Initiative Zimbabwe will receive a $25-50,000 capital prize to implement their initiative and a package of technical assistance tailored to the needs of their business. The technical assistance may be provided by TechnoServe, local or international consultants and might include: small farmer business training; structuring contracts between business and farmers; developing and implementing quality assurance mechanisms; risk management approach; or further capital raising assistance to expand model.

Five innovative and creative ideas in agriculture won the AIZ 2011 competition in five different categories of agriculture:

Staples category - Peak Trading
Peak Trading is a Harare based organisation whose idea is the establishment of a Mobile Buying Unit for farmers located far from the traditional buying points. Peak Trading is currently buying grains and other agriculture products from over 100 rural farmers spread across the Mashonaland provinces at competitive prices using professional buying methods.

High Value Crops category - Better Agriculture
Better Agriculture is a technical and consulting business which provides inputs, extension services and a market to over 155 farmers in the Honde Valley area growing tobasco chillis.

Agro Processing category - Zimbabwe Coffee Mill (ZCM)
ZCM works with more than 200 farmers in the Manicaland province. The organisation buys raw quality coffee from small scale farmers, roast it and sell it to the local and regional markets thus providing a premium to the small scale farmers through value addition.

Livestock African category – African Breeders Services TCM Ltd (ABS TCM Ltd)
ABS is experienced in bovine genetics and artificial breeding technology. The company will establish decentralised low overhead, small but efficient feed mills producing quality livestock feed. ABS is currently working with 50 small scale farmers in Nyazura and Rusape sourcing maize and soy from them, with the intent of processing it and selling the high quality, reasonably priced feed to them.

Other category - Passella
The organisation has contracted farmers in the Umzinyathini and Duncal Irrigation schemes in the Bulawayo and Matabeleland South provinces to grow rose geranium high value crop. The crop will be grown and sourced from the farmers who will receive extension services and a market; and potentially input credit from Passella.

The AIZ 2012 competition has been made possible through generous support from Delta Corporation and DFID Zimbabwe.

In addition, many other individuals and organizations have supported the competition, through participation on the advisory panel, as judges, or as AIZ ambassadors. Deloitte and Touche Toumahatsu and PricewaterhouseCoopers, two of the largest international accounting firms, will also support Agro Initiative Zimbabwe by carrying out the preliminary judging process of the business plan competition. An independent panel of judges will also be established, comprised of a number of Zimbabwean experts in the financial and agriculture sectors, who will be responsible for selecting winners in the final judging process.

Contact TechnoServe Harare Office for more details.
12 Lomagundi Road, Mount Pleasant, Harare
Telephone (land) (04) 339 945/307 630, OR 0772 158 323/4
Or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Or visit the website http://www.aiz.co.zw/ for the application forms

 
Zimbabwe: Partner Development Focused NGOs - Govt PDF Print E-mail

Zimbabwe: Partner Development Focused NGOs - Govt (18 April 2012)

GOVERNMENT has challenged business and funding agencies to partner development-focused non-governmental organisations and provide financial assistance to benefit small-scale farmers. Speaking at the launch of the Agro-Initiative Zimbabwe 2012 competition in Harare on Monday, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said Government's partnership with TechnoServe demonstrated its support of development partners that can address poverty.

"This partnership with my Ministry was born on May 24, 2011 when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TechnoServe Zimbabwe.

"Within this collaborative environment, in April of last year, TechnoServe successfully launched Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2011, in an effort to revitalise the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe," she said.

Minister Nyoni said Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2011 received many high quality applications, from which the top five innovative, far-reaching and ideas with impact were selected to receive the capital prize of US$50 000 each plus TechnoServe's technical advisory support.

She said last year's five winners were currently working with 1 442 small scale farmers in areas such as Honde Valley, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo peri urban and the three Mashonaland provinces.

"It is assumed that by the end of three years those farmers will have earned over US$10 million incremental income as a direct result of the competition," Minister Nyoni said.

The overall prize to winners of Agro Initiative Zimbabwe 2012 competition, she said, would address challenges faced by the medium scale businesses and the small-scale farmers.

Chief among the challenges, Minister Nyoni said, was access to finance.

She said Government believed Agro Initiative Zimbabwe would provide the spark required for the agricultural sector to flourish once again.

Besides financial support, Agro Initiative Zimbabwe provides technical assistance to help develop technical skills among business leaders, she said.

TechnoServe country director Margaret Rose said organisation was engaged in detailed business planning, financial modelling and scenario planning, investigating markets and company valuations.TechnoServe first came to Zimbabwe in 2010 and as a development organisation realised that there was vast human skills that could be utilised through support to development and business ideas hence the birth of Agro Initiative Zimbabwe.

Agro Initiative Zimbabwe is a business plan competition targeted at existing medium-sized Zimbabwean businesses with creative sustainable ideas in agriculture and agri-business. AIZ supports innovative ideas that demonstrate the inclusion of smallholder farmers or rural communities such as outgrower or contract farming models and have the potential to influence wider industrial development. Winners will receive between US$25 000 and US$50 000 capital prize to implement their initiative and a package of technical assistance tailored to the needs of their businesses.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201204180645.html

 
Government engages NGO partner to fund SMEs

Sunday, 27 March 2011 21:52
By More Tirivashoma

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Government last week signed a memorandum of understanding with an international non- governmental organisation, Technoserve International, which will see the latter injecting funds to help small businesses in Zimbabwe.

The signing ceremony precedes a Cabinet resolution which endorsed the two partners to work together for the development of small and medi-um-scale enterprises in Zimbabwe. Minister Sithembiso Nyoni signed on behalf of Government while Ms Margaret Rose, who is the incoming country director, signed on behalf of Technoserve International.

Minister Nyoni said the partnership was an indication that Government was ready to work with anyone who had genuine interests to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans.
"This partnership will fill the gaps especially in the agro-industry which is key to our land reform. This will also stimulate competition in the micro- business sector which will lead to improved quality of products," she said. Minister Nyoni said the programme was mainly targeted at rural entrepreneurs who previously did not benefit much from Government's small business development initiatives. This, she said, will be complemented by providing not only money but also technical assistance and business skills to the entrepreneurs.

Ms Rose said her organisation seeks to transform the Zimbabwe's SMEs and link them with established businesses while laying a framework for the expansion of the country's economy as a whole. She said her organisation would also make a positive impact on the agricultural sector.

"As the incoming country director, I assure you that what I am promising here is not mere theory but the beginning of a practical approach to help Zimbabwe's SMEs in the next couple of months," she said. Ms Rose said her organisation will immediately launch a competition worth US$250 000 for the SMEs from all provinces to encourage good business practices among the sector.

 

 

 

 
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