Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Qualitative Assessment of USAID/OFDA Small Scale Irrigation Programs: Zimbabwe Drip Irrigation Kits 2003-2006
Final Report
February 2008
Amy Sullivan
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)


The OFDA drip irrigation program in Zimbabwe began in response to drought-induced food scarcity in 2003. Its investment in drip kit irrigation in Zimbabwe totalled some $2.5 million from 2003/4 through 2006. DAI was the institutional contractor who dispersed OFDA funds through its on-going Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged (LEAD) Household Nutrition Garden (HNG) program, which started in 2003. LEADís goal was to mitigate the crisis by helping 20,000 families produce vegetables and generate income by introducing micro irrigation drip kits into small intensive household gardens.

LEAD dedicated OFDA funds to the purchase, distribution and backstopping of 16,000 irrigation drip kits as part of an intensive household nutrition garden project. It relied on nearly 40 different local, national and international NGOs or PVOs for site selection, beneficiary identification, sensitization, distribution, and follow up with recipients1.

OFDA funding to DAI began in June 2003 but its activities were terminated early due to changing political and budgetary circumstances in Zimbabwe. The USAID Mission in Harare was subjected to budget cuts and staff reductions. What was originally intended to be a longer term DAI project ended after two funding cycles. Although DAIís guidance of the project was terminated earlier than expected, LEAD continued, expanding its activities and networks with other funding. From inception to completion, the LEAD HNG program established over 20,000 household nutrition gardens, some 16,000 of which were directly funded by OFDA. In 2004, LEAD transformed itself into a local Ďindigenousí NGO, LEAD Trust, which still operates today.

  1. For numbers of drip kits distributed by partner and region, see Annex B.

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