Chapter 4.7 – Restoring Degraded Ecosystems by Unlocking Organic Market Potential: Case Study from Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe

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By Georgina McAllister, Programmes Director, GardenAfrica, Burwash, East Sussex, UK

This case study presents organic agriculture (OA) within the context of trade and sustainable livelihoods in Zimbabwe. In a changing environment, depleted resources and declining biodiversity represent a significant threat to human survival and economic development. Thus, the intention of the initiative has been to explore the relative opportunities presented by organic production, certification, and market development. We propose that such a future, underpinned by sustainable growth, can foster greater public, private, and voluntary sector cooperation in a bid to protect and restore ecosystem functions. Information and data resulting from this initiative (2011–2015) continue to provide a strong indication of the viability and value of supporting organic production and market growth to effectively increase smallholder productivity, ecosystem stabilization, and localized and sustainable economic development. Perhaps now is the time to consider that a resurgence of Zimbabwe’s productive capacity, within which we include its capacity for adaptation in a changing climate, should be founded on an understanding of the limits of the country’s soils and finite resources, as well as the need to distribute its health and wealth for the benefit of all. When considering the preventative and rehabilitation requirements of healthcare, it is important to emphasize that childhood education’s earning and retention demand, good quality food, and nutrition play a vital role in building the physical and mental resilience of any nation. For Zimbabwe, this focus could also help boost the development of a sector that contributes to building environmental, social, and economic resilience in the face of seemingly overwhelming rural poverty and climate change.

 

Download full chapter from ScienceDirect.

This chapter follows Georgina’s presentation at a workshop during the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, 2013.

Further Information:

About Georgina:

With a background in humanitarian aid which, like conflict, often happens to people without their consent, George developed an interest in creating more inclusive and sustainable forms of community engagement, which view the environment and its hosts as part of a long-term solution.

Having worked during her youth as gardener in her native North Wales, and later completing her MA in politics at York (Post-War Reconstruction and Development) she drew upon these two passions, co-founding GardenAfrica in 2002, where she continues to design and develop programmes with civil society organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more about Georgina here.

Connect with Georgina at GardenAfrica through Twitter @AfroGardener

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