Since the 2000s, the amount of food and wealth produced by the Zimbabwean agricultural sector, once highly productive, has been greatly reduced. The country has become a net food importer with a large proportion of Zimbabweans relying on food aid. The structure of the agricultural system has shifted from large-scale commercial farms to small-scale farming. These farmers require support in order to strengthen food security, reduce poverty and achieve an acceptable level of agricultural production.
More over, 75% of the communal land lie in Agro ecological Regions IV and V, often near national parks or private conservancies. These regions host the poorest small-scale farmers, who need to be supported in order to participate in the national economy and adapt their strategies to the particular contexts of living at the periphery of protected areas.
Dream Project is a sibling of the Research Platform-Production and Conservation in Partnership (RP-PCP) with other projects such as RENCARE and SAVARAID. The platform was formally established in 2007 and renewed in 2010 after an external evaluation conducted by an external experts panel. The RP-PCP has to contribute to sustainable development, nature conservation and improved rural livelihood in southern Africa, through strengthening national research capacities, multi- disciplinary approaches and institutional partnerships. The focus is on protected and neighboring production areas, with the ambition to improve the co-existence of agricultural productions and conservation of natural resources for the benefit of rural communities.