Sisonke Self Help Group (SHG) members walk in between rows of their healthy leafy green vegetables admiring the product of their hard work. Like many small scale farmers in Lupane district, the members are passionate about their horticulture garden as it has contributed immensely to their improved livelihoods.
The 6-member group was formed after members attended a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe community sensitization meeting which was held under the organisation’s Jobs Creation Project (JCP) in April 2021.
After successfully joining the JCP project, the 6 members underwent six comprehensive modular trainings on business development. The eye opening trainings enabled them to start an Internal Saving and Lendings (ISALs) scheme where they contributed USD$3.
They then used some of the accrued savings to establish their horticulture garden which now supplies fresh leafy greens, tomatoes, onion and carrots to their local community members and vendors.
The farmers now produce fresh vegetables which are on demand despite the fact that water is a scarce commodity in their ward. They are only limited to watering their vegetables using water from Mtshenkwa River which is a bit far from their garden.
On a good month, members make an average profit of USD$360 from selling their produce and they share this amount equally.
Members are happy that their enterprise is doing well as they use their earnings to cater for their household needs. Some of their earnings also go towards paying school fees, books, stationery and healthcare needs for their children.
“We are now better off as the income we get from our enterprises helps us to meet all our financial obligations
“Hand in and Zimbabwe has empowered us economically and we are grateful for this support,” Mrs Sithabile Ndlovu a group member said.
The SHG plans to install a permanent water source such as a borehole and a mesh perimeter fence to ensure the sustainability of their enterprise as soon as funds permit.