Livelihood and food security

Livelihood and food security

Households seek various ways of generating income as a means for providing for their needs. That can be achieved through a diverse range of income-generating activities, either on- or off-farm. To succeed in their efforts, people require the appropriate resources (e.g. land, production materials and capital), skills and capacities, as well as favourable external conditions such as markets, infrastructure, links to value chains and appropriate rules and regulations.

ZOA attends these issues by focusing on four main areas:

  • Agricultural production, both crops and livestock. ZOA carefully analyses the best entry points for sustainable change and resilience of the agricultural systems to natural hazards, hence integrating the principles of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Smart Agriculture.
  • Income generating activities. This may be through small entrepreneurship, vocational training, job creation or cooperatives.
  • Market support. ZOA facilitates the development of local markets and the access of beneficiaries to markets. ZOA organizes producer groups, works towards improved market information and provides training on processing and value chain development.
  • Supporting conditions for rural and urban economic development.

When supporting communities in these aspects in either rural or urban areas, ZOA aims to optimally link them together, putting special emphasis on the sustainability of the interventions. Doing so helps shift the mind-set from daily survival to economic recovery. For example, income generating activities frequently provide new skills, services and opportunities, thereby stimulating the local economy. With respect to agricultural production, ZOA aims to improve the entire agricultural production systems, thereby stimulating diversity, while safeguarding the quality of the soil and other natural resources.

ZOA considers that supporting conditions for economic development interventions are essential for sustaining the other three areas. ZOA helps to improve the conditions for development by promoting the availability, accessibility and quality of basic services and relevant information, and by building the capacities of community based organizations.