Horticultural garden improves community lives

 

Kuwadzana Self-help group members have successfully set up a horticultural enterprise, thanks to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe interventions in  Chirumhanzu district.

The 10 group members have successfully set up a horticultural garden that specializes in growing chomolia and kale, taking advantage of a nearby wetland

The group had previously been limited by the fact that no development partners made any attempts to work with them in any enterprise activities due to the inaccessibility of the area. Such limited interaction with people from outside their ward meant they had little exposure to any advancements.

The interventions of Hand in of Hand Zimbabwe in the ward however changed all that as members were encouraged to formalize their group and start the organisation’s business management skills training.

After completing the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe modules, the group decided to start their horticultural enterprise.

Due to lack of wide and viable markets, the group’s produces would however go to waste around the harvesting season.

Upon realising this hurdle, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe trained the group members on proper vegetable drying and the training was facilitated by the Ministry of Women Affairs Community Small and Medium Enterprise. Instead of being stuck with fresh unsold vegetables which would eventually go bad. The self-help group members gained knowledge on how to naturally dry and package their vegetables.

“Before we joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, our garden operations were uncoordinated because we had not received any business management trainings. Right now our group enterprise is being run along a business model,” said Mr. Dhibha when asked recently about their enterprise.

Whereas the group used to grow one type of leafy vegetable, the technical skills training taught the group members about using a horticulture planting calendar. This calendar enables farmers to identify the type of vegetables to grow at any given time

The SHG plans to use their savings and profits realized form the sales to invest on buying a solar drier.

“We are very grateful for the assistance and encouragement that we receive from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. What was previously deemed impossible is now possible. We have since obtained a dried vegetables market in Masvingo. We will be supplying them with 50kgs of dried vegetables every month earning the group USD 75.00. We hope the organization will continue supporting us and empowering more community members,” the group chairperson said.

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