Winning a seed grant worth USD$1333.00 at the first phase of the Lupane district Market Linkages Project (MLP) competition has enabled poultry and pig farming -focused Vusanani Self Help Group(SHG) members to embark on a lifelong journey of attaining their dreams.
After clinching the second prize the 12 all-female group members from Ward 14, Lupane district have finally fulfilled their dream of building a 8m x 3m fowl run with a capacity of housing 100 chickens.
The members have also managed to buy 21 hens and 3 pigs for breeding and are in the process of building a 8m x 5m pig sty that will at least house 10 pigs.
The group’s journey started when the women joined forces with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in 2015 and the organisation took them through a six-month training in which they were taught six (6) business modules.
From the knowledge they gained from the trainings, the group then decided to form their poultry and pig venture.
To ensure they establish a fully lucrative enterprise, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe took the group through extensive coaching and mentoring, look and learn tours and technical skills trainings on pig farming and poultry production.
After all the mentoring and coaching, the group performed extremely well hence winning the second prize position.
The group has in the past month managed to sell 75 chickens at USD$5 and they currently have USD$375 as savings. To date, they have 45 chickens including the ones they received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.
Although members of the SHG have not sold any of their 14 pigs, they plan on selling them for USD$50 each once ready for the market and they are expecting some of the pigs to drop piglets in the next few months.
The group members share income from their poultry sales quarterly with each member receiving as much as USD$80.
The hardworking women have also bought five cows and are planning to buy seven more so as to give each member a cow.
The support they have received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has enabled the SHG to penetrate a lucrative market as they sell their products to a local hotel, community members and shops at the district service centre.
To increase their income base, the group has also established a horticultural garden and are into Internal Savings and Lendings (ISALs)) where each member contributes ZAR50 per month.
In an interview, one of the women Sheila Sibanda (54) said the enterprise has immensely transformed the lives of group members as they are now financially stable.
“We never thought women could actually do business and earn money but with the help of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, we are now successful business owners.
“We can now afford to take care of our families and we have managed to build houses for two of our group members who lost their houses due to heavy rains,” she said.
She commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for the modules trainings and guidance citing that it has greatly contributed to the growth of their enterprise.
The group has matured to an extent of spearheading the formation of another SHG, called Vusanani 2 which is made up of 12 youth.