THE Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT) has unveiled two facilities namely the climate smart agriculture (CSA) facility and access to clean technology (ACT).
According to ZADT business and market development manager Fortunate Vengesai who made a presentation at the Market Linkage Association discussion on rural finance the facilities are reflective of the strategic value chain business model now pursued by the trust.
The CSA facility targets crops and livestock enterprises that are deemed either inherently tolerant to climate shocks or whose production systems have significant potential for transformation to resilience through the use of adaptable inputs or adoption of climate smart practices.
The facility is open to small holder farmers farming in the drier and semi arid regions of the country, which are generally vulnerable to climate change and have limited ability to adapt to the impacts.
Vengesai said smallholder farmers in areas where the incidence of more dry spells is high will have to adopt CSA practices.
The facility is also open also to agribusiness or agricultural value chain actors with a strong commercial link to small holder farmers supporting them to respond to climate change by transforming their farming systems to more climate smart systems.
Small holder farmers adopting and promoting CSA technologies in their productive processes, such as adoption of sustainable and efficient resource use, agronomic systems and practices can also benefit from the facility.
Vengesai said the ACT facility promotes funding of climate change and clean technology adaptation, appropriate energy and efficient resource use systems of value chain players who work with smallholder farmers.
He said applicants to the ACT facility should demonstrate that their projects will have transformative effects on the livelihoods of small holder farmers.
“Investments are intended to stimulate changes in the smallholder agriculture sector or market by improving resilience to climate change, efficient and effective resource utilization and management.
He said through their interventions small holder farmers have benefited from more reliable access to inputs resulting in higher productivity and improved food security.
Vengesai said since its formation five years ago ZADT has managed disburse over US$88.6m to the agriculture sector benefiting over four hundred thousand small holder farmers.
ZADT currently has grown its capital from US$3m it started with to US$36.5m.
Access to the facilities is through the eight commercial banks and nine micro finance institutions that work with ZADT .