Chenhope Self-Help Group (SHG) group is among the 1 581 SHGs that have been empowered by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under its Jobs Creation Project (JCP) since 2015.
Under the JCP, the Shurugwi based SHG has been capacitated to boost production, access markets and realise benefits from their horticultural enterprise
The 41-members who for years struggled to feed their families from the meagre incomes they received from individual enterprises can now afford decent meals and have tasted financial independence.
In an Interview, Netsai Masendeke (51) a group member said the horticultural enterprise took off after the group received business modular trainings followed by advanced agricultural technical skills from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.
3 group members showing off some of their produce
She said through this coaching the group was able to increase the variety and yield of the crops they produce.
“Without technical skills or business training, we were ill-equipped on how to start and grow our enterprise.
“The knowledge we gained from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe helped us to improve our farming capacity and produce quality crops which fetch better prices on the market,” she said.
Working tirelessly in their 1acre garden, the group was able to grow different crops such as chomolia, king onions, tomatoes, carrots and spinach.
The group’s flourishing garden
From a good harvest, each member can sell vegetables worth $50 and have the benefit of taking some for household consumption.
The group is making waves in the Midlands area for producing the freshest vegetables and they have attracted formal markets at local schools, their local community, two (2) clinics and restaurants in Shurugwi district.
With the extra profits she has earned since their business started paying off in 2018, Netsai Masendeke has managed to pay school fees for her two school-going children.
Seven widows who are also part of the group can now afford to take care of their families and three have managed to buy cows as means of savings.
The group which fetches water from a nearby dam dream of better days ahead as they want to install a solar-powered borehole to ease their workload.
The 3 members pointing at their water source