WFP, DCA spearhead hydroponic farming method

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World Food programme (WFP)

BY LORRAINE MUROMO
THE World Food programme (WFP) in collaboration with non-governmental organisation Dan Church Aid (DCA) has pledged to assist Zimbabwean farmers in implementing the hydroponics method to promote organic farming and boost yields for vulnerable communities.

The hydroponics farming method solely relies on nutrient mineral solutions in the absence of land.

A pilot project will be spearheaded in Epworth and Harare South to promote organic farming among urban communities.

DCA resilience field officer Victor Buwu said he hoped that the introduction of the hydroponic technology would boost food and nutrition security in urban communities.

“The main advantage is that the main pests and diseases that affect crops are soil borne, and so we are trying to avoid the use of soil because it brings pathogens that cause diseases.

The reasons we are trying to set up hydroponics in rural set-ups are guided by the ZimVac [Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee] report in 2021, where it was realised that 2,4 million dwellers in urban areas were food insecure and this equates to 42% of the total population of Zimbabwe,” Buwu said.

“At the end of this project, I think they had targeted about 326 000 beneficiaries.

This hydroponic system will work alongside other value chains like poultry, production, rabbitry, detergent making and cash for waste as part of the resilience programme.

We are trying to ensure that we help people in vulnerable communities to be able to absorb shocks and disturbance.”

He further emphasised that urban set-ups represented a lack of space and the hydroponic system would address all such challenges.

“With the hydroponic systems you can go up or use a layer up system which can be termed as vertical agriculture where you are not using any soil.”

DCA spokesperson Patience Ukama said the promotion of organic farming was one of the many ways aimed at ensuring ecological justice where both humans and animals are safe.

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