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Lillian Machivenyika serves as the Executive Director for Cluster Agricultural Development Services (CADS), a developmental public voluntary organization that intervenes to improve smallholder agriculture in rural and peri-urban districts of Zimbabwe. Lillian founded CADS in 2005 with a view to improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. She has led the successful implementation of more than 20 developmental programs funded by different donors including the EU, FAO, USAID and AusAID among others for over 15 years, through partnerships.
Lillian’s expertise lies in the area of sustainable agriculture including research, business development, marketing, coordination, strategy development and underutilized species. She has led a successful amaranth promotion strategy in Zimbabwe in which CADS introduced amaranth production to smallholder producers and aims at developing market opportunities. Amaranth is also being promoted to address nutrition challenges for vulnerable groups such as women and children given the high levels of stunting for children under 5 years of age. Successful production led to partnerships with research institutions and universities in which amaranth based products such as porridges, breakfast cereals, confectioneries and other flour-based products were developed and promoted to enhance nutrition and improve incomes for small holder farmers.
Lillian is a holder of Honors Degree in Business Studies with the University of Zimbabwe and is currently working on her thesis for a Master’s Degree program in Development Studies with the South African University of Free State among other post graduate qualifications. Lillian sits on different other boards including the Zephaniah Phiri Award for Food and Farm Innovators as the treasurer. She is one of the founding members of the Zimbabwe Traditional and Organic Food and Seed Forum and the Zimbabwe Adding Value to Sustainable Agriculture Produce (ZAVSAP). She represents CADS on the Zimbabwe Conservation Agriculture Network (ZimCAN), the Nutrition Cluster, Market Linkages Association and other networks. She has served as an advisor for the Zimbabwe National Committee on the Milan Expo, Italy, on promotion of underutilized species such as baobab, amaranth and small grain in 2015.