Food Security and Rural Livelihoods in the Doldrums: Exploring Alternatives for Sanyati through Sustainable Development Goals




food security, livelihoods, poverty, rural, sustainable development


The topical issue of sustainable development has received significant attention from scholars, social commentators and decision-makers, yet it seems there is a gap with regard to the examination of alternatives and sustainable methods of combating food insecurity. This article makes a number of observations that point to a deepening food insecurity, and it makes recommendations to avert further catastrophes. Findings from the study indicate that the Sanyati district in Zimbabwe faces perennial food shortages and relies on government food handouts, drought relief and donor food aid. The study found that command agriculture (a government initiative) is perceived as a catalyst for ensuring food security and nutrition and enhancing self-sufficiency among smallholder farmers in rural communities. Knowledge of sustainable development goals can lead to an expanded understanding of food security in general and the manifestations of alternative rural livelihoods strategies in particular. In this article, we recommend the implementation of climate-smart agriculture at local and national levels to help farmers adapt to the changing climatic conditions. However, there is a need to make subsidised inputs available in time so as to increase household adaptive capacity and improve livelihoods.

Author Biographies

Tinashe Mitchell Mashizha, Lower Guruve Development Association

Tinashe Mitchell Mashizha is a researcher based in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.  A development practitioner by profession, he is passionate about rural development, climate change and social development. His research interest includes pro-poor policies and growth, poverty reduction and women empowerment. He is committed to inspire and impact the human race.

Munyaradzi Admire Dzvimbo, Lupane State University

Department of Development Studies



How to Cite

Mashizha, Tinashe Mitchell, and Munyaradzi Admire Dzvimbo. 2019. “Food Security and Rural Livelihoods in the Doldrums: Exploring Alternatives for Sanyati through Sustainable Development Goals”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 48 (2):16 pages.



Received 2018-08-29
Accepted 2019-01-31
Published 2019-03-12