Despite facing various economic shocks and barriers, Shingai self-help group members from Chirumhanzu district are persevering in their goat enterprise.
‘’Our journey started in 2020 when we came into interaction with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe team who equipped us with business skills and facilitated environment trainings. Our minds were enlightened and we wished for a decent living. We identified a challenge in the community for meat and saw it as an opportunity. We started rearing goats for business to address the community needs. We mobilised our resources and started with five (5) Mashona goats for breeding.’’
Determination and hard work led Shingai Self-help group members to be selected under the Market Linkages Project. They attained the fourth position during the competitions and the group was entitled to hardware support worthy USD$700.00. Shingai was supported with fencing material, roofing material, six (6) does that had been serviced by a Boer goat and one (1) Boer buck first generation, goat feeds and vaccines. The aim was to boost the production capacity, the quality of the meat and increase the market share in respect to goat markets inside and outside the ward. Department of Agriculture, Technical and Extensional Services supported the group through Agri-environmental trainings which equipped them with goat management skills. These include improved goat housing, standard supplementary feeding and goat breeding.
‘’Besides null net returns and profits so far, we are motivated by the quality off springs we are getting from the Boer buck that we received. We are still working on expanding the herd and the hardware support is sailing us through to our vision of reaching a sizeable number of about 200 goats in two years. Despite 6 mortalities, the herd has been increased by 6 off springs making a total of 17 goats to date. Our production rate increased as we applied the technical knowledge we received. We hope that we start selling our goats mid-year 2022’’
Currently the self-help group members are saving USD$3.00 and they plan to use their savings to grow their herd. The organization is consistently monitoring, mentoring and coaching the group so that they apply the skills they were equipped.
‘’As a group in 2022 we plan to commercialise and we hope we will have the capacity to supply readily available markets which include the Chinese mines. We also plan to improve our breed by rearing the Matebele goat which are disease resistant yet profitable as Boer goats with easy management. We sincerely request for the continuation of the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe initiative empowering women and men in Chirumanzu district.