The Agriculture Union Social Justice Fund is providing badly needed support to co-operative food producers in the southern African country of Zimbabwe.

The AUSJF donation, for the years 2016 and 20117, has been made to the Organization of Collective Cooperatives of Zimbabwe. OCCZIM, as it is known, is in the forefront of restructuring the country’s rural food production at a time of crisis in its important agricultural economy.

A severe drought has compounded persistent problems of government mismanagement of the agricultural economy in what is normally one of most bountiful nations in Africa. With at least three million Zimbabweans in need of direct food aid, a national state of emergency has been declared.

Our $20,000 (USD) donation will fund the annual establishment of 16 chicken production co-operatives over the two-year project. A marketing program will be put into place to link the surplus from village production to other communities in need. Finally, an Association of Village Chicken Co-ops will be formed as a centre of training and outreach.

These co-ops will go beyond providing short-term food relief; they will ensure a source of protein-rich nourishment to communities over the long haul.