(Yisivuba pig confinement area before joining the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe ,Job Creation Project)
Yisivuba Self Help Group (SHG) is a six-member group, made up of three females and three males in Mtshekwa village, Ward 8, Lupane District.
Starting off was not a stroll in the park, especially for the group members who previously had 46 native pig breeds (known as mukota ). Due to a lack of technical skills and business mentoring, they had to start afresh in order to match their target market.
In February 2023, the Yusivuba self-help group joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under the Job Creation Project. They received training that introduced the group to various types of enhanced pig breeds that are quick to mature and are market profitable, which made them sell their forty-six pigs to locals at a low cost with the aim of buying improved breeds.
“Through Hand in Hand Zimbabwe intervention training in our ward, we realized that our pig breed was not attractive to the market. This did not deter us from coming up with a plan to sell the Mukota breed to locals in an effort to buy mixed breeds. “We were fortunate to sell the 46 pigs at the value of $US1 280,” said Kwanele Sibanda.
“We rushed to buy four pigs of improved breeds such as Landrace, Large white, and Durocs from a nearby learning institution at a cost of $280 and we have built a standardized pigsty at a cost of $US1 073.”
(Members plastering the almost complete pigsty.)
Mixed breeds will allow them to harness all the desired traits of different breeds to develop better crossbreeds.
(Group members washing the pigs after feeding.)
The group members through ISALS have been contributing $US10 monthly and this has helped them to invest more in their business. Members of the group have been able to send their children to school and provide food through the project. Before Hand in Hand Zimbabwe training, the group had difficulties in sustaining their families, most of the children had dropped out of school but now they tell a different story.
Apart from the piggery, the Yisivuba Self-Help Members have integrated into horticulture. The group is harvesting 20kgs of tomatoes every week and selling 10kg of tomatoes at $US10.Limited water source remains a barrier to the expansion of their horticulture business as their unprotected wells are not deep.
Access to viable markets remains one of the biggest bottlenecks that pig farmers face, especially the up-and-coming ones. Yisivuba Group’s dream is not only for pig rearing and horticulture business but also to diversify fish farming.