Global Advanced Research Journal of Peace, Gender and Development Studies (GARJPGDS)
September 2012 Vol. 1(7), pp. 012-019
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research

Cassava and sweet potato production for HIV/AIDS affected smallholder farmers: A case study of Zvishavane District, Zimbabwe

Dadirayi Manyumwa1, Robert Baars2 and Koos Kingma2

1Corresponding author: Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe.
2Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 411, 6700 AK Wageningen, the Netherlands

*Corresponding author E-mail: dadiraimanyumwa@yahoo.com

Accepted 31 July, 2012

Abstract

This study explored the role of cassava and sweet potato, promoted by the NGO Africare, as a labour saving mitigation strategy in AIDS affected and drought prone Zvishavane District. The study focused on the impact of AIDS on livelihood assets, the current food production and food security, household income, and household coping strategies. A case study among 16 households was conducted. There was a low production of sweet potato whilst cassava was hardly grown, despite the strong promotion of both crops because of their labour saving effects. There was no significant contribution of these crops to food security and income. The households continued to lose productive assets to meet medical expenses and food requirements after the introduction of these crops. The sweet potato cultivation also increased the workload of women who were already burdened with the care giving role. It was recommended to support sweet potato production, which HIV/AIDS affected households are familiar with, to strengthen the community initiative of bartering with maize to meet their food requirements.

Keywords: Food security, HIV/AIDS, sustainable livelihood framework, Zimbabwe

 

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