This Rapid Market Assessment (RMA) was conducted at the request of the ILO to support the design and development of a 3-year project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and scheduled to run from 2017-2019 in Zimbabwe. The project aims to support women and youth in rural livelihoods to generate better and more sustainable income and employment opportunities by strengthening production and value-addition in a number of key rural economic sectors. Based on discussions with key ministries and an initial assessment during 2016 the AfDB selected four sectors as the project’s focus, namely, apiculture, artisanal mining, mopane worms and horticulture. The project outline received approval by AfDB board in December 2016, and so this RMA is intended to complement and strengthen the project’s key agreed activities, as well as help determine more specific interventions. In addition, the ILO requested a wider scoping of other products that could potentially benefit the target groups as part of their wider country strategy.
This Rapid Market Assessment (RMA) was run between November 2016 and early March 2017 by Thomas Tichar, Simangaliso Chitate and Lynnette Tshabangu. The assessment was done through desk-based research, individual and group interviews with representative groups of smallholders, beekeepers, artisanal and small-scale miners, business leads, ministry and association representatives, NGOs and relevant research and legal organizations. A workshop was also run to confirm initial findings from key ministries and provide feedback; apart from discussing the shortlisted sectors it was also agreed that tomatoes, potatoes, sugar beans and onions had a high potential for sustaining improved livelihoods for the target groups. However, given the varied climate and services across the country, the success of the project would most likely be determined more by production capacity and securing stronger value chains than the specific selection of any one product. A final workshop was held in March with representatives from public, private and civic sectors to validate the findings, provide feedback on the recommendations and discuss next steps. The addendum summarizes key feedback and recommendations provided during this final validation workshop.