ZVISHAVANE, Zimbabwe, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday handed over a weir, a nutrition garden and orchard to the Shauke community in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe as part of efforts to boost food security and build the community's resilience to climate-induced shocks.
China contributed funds through the World Food Program (WFP) Zimbabwe for the establishment of the half-million dollars project in Zvishavane, a semi-arid district about 344 km southwest of the capital Harare.
Work on construction of the 39,000 cubic meter dam, a 1.3 ha nutrition garden and orchard started in June and is scheduled for completion in December.
Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping officiated at the the groundbreaking ceremony at the dam site in Shauke together with WFP country director Eddie Rowe.
Ambassador Huang said China was committed to strengthening ties with Zimbabwe, especially in the area of food security, considering that Zimbabwe was one of the many countries in Africa experiencing food shortages due to bad weather.
He said China was expanding its humanitarian support to Zimbabwe from short-term emergency food aid to long- term resilience building to empower poor rural communities to respond to climate-induced shocks.
"As an all-weather friend of Zimbabwe, China fully understands the importance of agriculture for Zimbabwe, and is more than willing to support Zimbabwe in its efforts to increase food production and attain food security," the ambassador said.
He said China-Zimbabwe agriculture cooperation was facing new golden opportunities with Zimbabwe's launch of command agriculture scheme this year aimed at boosting food production in the country.
The Chinese envoy said more Chinese companies were keen to invest in Zimbabwe's agriculture sector, with the southern African country poised to start citrus exports to China soon.
Rowe said the UN agency will continue to support Zimbabwe to achieve its goal of eliminating hunger through empowering rural communities to create and sustain productive assets such as irrigation schemes, dip tanks, dams and weirs.
"The Shauke weir community garden and orchard is a prime example of the innovative ways that WFP, with support from China and in partnership with the government of Zimbabwe, is doing in Zvishavane to empower people to build their future," Rowe said.
The Shauke weir dam will benefit 480 households and livestock while the nutrition garden will directly benefit 80 households from surrounding villages.
The garden will produce a variety of vegetables for household consumption and for sale to generate income to improve the community's livelihoods.