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Project News


ZIM-SHEP Project News vol.18 (MAY 2022) "ZIM-SHEP: Pilot site selection"

In May 2022, the Zim-SHEP team conducted pilot site selection meetings in Mashonaland West and Masvingo Province. The team visited shortlisted candidate irrigation schemes selected by Agritex district heads. The Zim-SHEP team comprising of Agritex, DoI officials and JICA SHEP experts visited 7 candidate sites in each province nominated in the sensitization workshop held in the respect provinces in March 2022. The pilot site selection exercises included conducting focus group discussions with farmers and frontline extension staff on topics such as background of the scheme, marketing and horticultural production practices, relationship with farmers with extension staff, IMC and the general farmers, and general attendance in agricultural activities. In addition, the team assessed irrigation scheme infrastructure and production activities. Finally, 3 sites were selected in each province as pilot schemes.

As a new initiative this year, the Zim-SHEP team developed a project-specific questionnaire and scoring sheet to enable objective evaluation. The team developed an easy-to-understand questionnaire from a balanced and fair perspective, avoiding subjectivity.

The purpose of the pilot site selection meeting was not merely to shortlist candidate sites, but also to develop the capacity of implementing departments and other stakeholders at Provincial level. The team learnt that for effective administration of the questionnaire and to avoid biases, all participating farmers should be given an opportunity to speak.

The site selection exercise afforded an opportunity to capacitate provincial officers. The ZimSHEP head office team led in interviewing farmers from 4 schemes. The provincial officers were then given an opportunity to interview the last 3 schemes using tactics and tips modelled by Zim SHEP head office team. Feedback from interviewed farmers included the following comments "We have always wanted to grow horticultural crops, but I didn't know where to sell them," and "In answering these questions, I realized there are boarding schools and hospitals near our scheme which could be potential customers and markets."

Pilot site selection is one of the most important activities in the SHEP approach. Batch 3 duration is one year of which we hope to change farmers' mindset from "Grow and Sell" to "Grow to Sell" through training in various production, marketing and other social aspects such as gender mainstreaming

PhotoInterviews for farmers

PhotoSite inspection

PhotoPilot site selection meeting(Evaluation of the candidate schemes


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