A thriving garden in the semi-arid area of Ward 5, Shurugwi district is proving to be an oasis of hope for villagers in the area.
Set up in October 2019 after the members had undergone entrepreneurship training from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, proceeds from Limukani garden have greatly aided 18 Self Help Group (SHG) members, who previously struggled to earn a living in the region.
Members attest to the fact that their lives changed for the better after getting business training and technical support from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.
Since then, the group has successfully set up a 50x125m horticultural garden and achieved great milestones such as establishing viable markets and maintaining a consistent supply of the market which led them to winning the first prize at the first phase of the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Market Linkages Competition (MLP).
The group’s blossoming garden has a variety of horticultural crops such as chomolia, onion, carrots, butternut, sweet cabbage and tomatoes which they sell to schools, local vendors and approximately 50 households in Dlodlo village. The group also sells some of its vegetables at Chachacha Growth Point and Shurugwi district.
The group members earn a decent income from their hard work as each member has been allocated 32 planting beds and can sell produce worth USD53 per month.
One of the group members Edith Mahu (62) said the earnings from the horticultural venture have enabled her to taste financial freedom.
“We were living in abject poverty but Hand in Hand Zimbabwe came and gave us hope.
“Monetary challenges are now a thing of the past for us, domestic disputes caused by the lack of money have since ceased.
“To top that we are now healthy as we now get nutritional vegetables from our garden,” she said.
Hand in Hand has been actively involved in supporting the passionate group as it installed a solar powered borehole and erected a fence for the group under its Community Upliftment Project.
The group was also awarded inputs worth US$ 1000 to enhance productivity of their garden under the patronage of the Market Linkages Competition (MLP) in March 2020.
Part of the inputs they received included seeds, wheelbarrows, knapsack sprays, watering cans, spades, shovels, picks as well as cement and IBR zinc sheets for the construction of the pit toilet at the garden.