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:

  • generation of income
  • market support
  • agricultural production, including livestock
  • 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. With respect to agricultural production, for example, ZOA ensures that all interventions are designed so as to make optimal use of traditional and modern farm inputs, while safeguarding the quality of the soil and other natural resources.

With respect to the last area, ZOA considers that economic development interventions support and sustain the other three areas since they engage households and community organisations in economic processes. 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. Moreover, sound conditions for economic development, such as well-functioning government institutions, favourable regulations, vocational training opportunities, and infrastructure, make investments in the other three areas more rewarding.