UNDP hands over goats and agricultural equipment to Esigodini Agricultural College

Elita Chikwati Features Editor

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has handed over US$82 000 worth of goats, agricultural and laboratory equipment to Esigodini Agricultural College to enhance the institution’s programmes.

Esigodini Agricultural College is one of the five platforms driving Zimbabwe’s innovation in agriculture.

The college received 54 Kalahari and Matabele goats and an assortment of agricultural equipment including heating ovens, a lab size grinding mill, an automated fat extractor, microscopes, fume cupboards, a automated kjeldahl unit and several laboratory consumables.

This project falls under the UNDP’s programme on building climate resilience of vulnerable agricultural livelihoods in southern Zimbabwe and is part of a broader partnership that brings together the organisation, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri said the resources will enrich the students’ learning experience.

“Through hands-on training and practical exposure to livestock management and agricultural practices, our students will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field,” he said.

UNDP Zimbabwe resident representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola said they are complementing Government efforts in promoting climate adaptation.

“Zimbabwe, like most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, is perennially affected by climatic hazards impacting heavily on small-holder rain-fed agricultural production systems, often with severe extending consequences on socio-economic development,” he said.

Dr Odusola said the climate-smart agriculture interventions are important in advancing the country’s climate action and adaptation, especially in light of Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action).

Over the years, the UNDP, through the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF), the Climate Water and Adaptation Programme (CAWEP) and the GCF-funded Building Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Agricultural Livelihoods in Southern Zimbabwe programmes has supported crop and livestock breed improvements, climate-smart agriculture and the establishment of irrigation schemes.

Over 840 000 small-holder farmers have benefited.

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