Rural Agriculture Revitalisation Programme - Commercialising Farming (RARP-CSF)

This project is completed

The Rural Agriculture Revitalisation – Commercialisation of Smallholder Farming Project (RARP-CSF) is a DANIDA funded initiative which facilitates the commercialisation of small-holder agriculture.

The goal  of the project is to contribute to sustainable food security, incomes and employment creation for 280,000 commercially oriented small-holder farmers in Zimbabwe. We do this through re-instating sustainable commercial input and output marketing channels as well as technical and business development services. The RARP-CSF is being implemented using an integrated value chain development approach that addresses all constraints hindering growth in specific sub-sectors. The project components include improving small scale farmers’ access to the right yielding inputs, development of win-win sustainable contract farming arrangements and provision of effective business development services. The components have been designed to facilitate the revitalisation of the horticulture, oil seeds and dairy sub-sectors. The programme complements government efforts towards commercialisation of small-holder agriculture and is in line with government policy frameworks, particularly the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM-ASSET). The programme addresses food security, value chain development, matching grants, pilots and studies, value chain financing and e-extension. 


  • The project works with a network of 1,200 agro dealers in the 8 rural provinces of Zimbabwe.
  • SNV supported two horticulture co-operatives (886 farmers) in realising Zim Organic and Zimbabwe GAP certification. Together, they form the Shurugwi Smallholder Horticultural Association which targets the growing demand for safe vegetables. SNV also facilitated contractual supply of vegetables by the cooperative to Servicor Catering Services, Pick ‘n Pay and Spar Supermarket chains.
  • The Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT) and its CREATE Fund which started off as a value chain financing component under RARP in 2010 is now a fully-fledged institution.  
  • The project has pioneered the certification of small-holder tea farmers in Zimbabwe.
  • The project has pioneered the development of the sesame and groundnuts value chains in areas where cotton is traditionally grown, thereby offering farmers alternative cash crops and improving small-holder farmers’ resilience to shocks.
  • In dairy, RARP is improving farmers' and extension staff's knowledge and skills, resulting in productivity and production growth and the integration of renewable energy sources in milk cooling and processing systems.  
  • RARP contributes hugely to resuscitating the national dairy herd through initiating heifer breeding centres and improved access to high quality feed.
  • 120 commodity association leaders have been trained on governance with the assistance of officials from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development.  
  • SME commodity associations have been supported to come up with innovative self-funding innovation models such as the registration of SACCOs.   
  • 34 agri-business SMEs have been linked to funding facilities which include CREATE Fund, SNV Matching Grants and other micro finance institutions. 
  • Through the ''pilots and studies' component, RARP has commissioned 4 dairy sub-sector studies, 1 oil seeds sub-sector study and 1 horticulture study. 
  • The project provides decision support systems for small-holder farmers through its e-extension component.   
  • Matching grants are used to pilot emerging models every year. This has enabled the programme to come up with various innovations such as the matching grant facility, the transaction platform and the credit guarantee facility for agro-dealers and the e-extension being piloted since January 2015. 
  • The RARP Program has changed the lives of more than 259,000 small-holder farmers in Zimbabwe.  
If only we (Zimbabwean farmers) can improve our harvesting techniques, then maybe we can compete with our Kenyan counterparts on quality and price!Joyce Machokoto

Our experts

Cloffas Nyagumbo

Senior Agriculture Advisor

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