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Green house farming a game changer for women

PAMELA MACHIDHA

MIDWEEK REPORTER

SHURUGWI- Green house farming is set to improve the livelihoods of Bethel Garden farmers in ward 18 Boterekwa, Shurugwi District as they will be improved production due to technology.

Green house farming will help farmers as they prepare the land for the coming season to improve the soil, water and air conditions in order to provide an ideal environment for crops.

The 21 female farmers are taking the greenhouse farming route under the guidance of Hand in Hand Organization.

 Bethel Garden farmers chairlady, Omega Mudzengi said they are now preparing for the coming cropping season through digging trenches to protect the land from woods and pests.

“The soil in a green house should be worked on and must be as deep as possible to break any existing hardpans. This is our first year to grow crops in the green house so fumigation of the soil is a must, since it will help to destroy diseases, nematodes and weeds,” said Mudzengi.

Mudzengi urged other farmers to adapt green house farming as a way of fighting poverty.

“Green house farming is a serious game-changer when many farmers adapt this kind of farming it will help to uplift them out of poverty,” she said.

Beneficiaries from the project appreciate the good job done with Hand in Hand which include the erection of a perimeter fence, tanks and taps.

One of the beneficiaries Anna Mbiwa said, “As Bethel farmers we started our journey in 2018 growing onions, potatoes, vegetables and tomatoes using water from a nearby river which would dry very often along the year. However, with the coming in of Hand in Hand our lives have changed because they assisted us by drilling 2 by 5000litres water tanks, 3 taps and security fence which covers 1 hectare in the green house,” said Mbiwa.

 Sibonginkosi Kuvhirimara, an Enterprise Development Facilitator for Hand in Hand Organization said nothing so far has been put in the green house.

“This work which is incomplete but will be completed this week. The crop is set to be planted next week when all the work is done,” said Kuvhirimara.

“The women can now support their families with nutritious food and are able to pay for their needs without much reliance from their spouses. This reduces cases of gender based violence (GBV) cases among the members of the families”.

 Thandiwe Muzingwane a member of Bethel Gardens appreciates the project as an opportunity which will change the standard of living to both herself and the community around her.

” The project will change not only us as a group but the whole district of Shurugwi because we will be able to feed our children and pay school fees for them after selling our produce”.

Another woman farmer, Priscilla Govha said the project under Hand in Hand helps them to access better markets as well as how to invest capital.

However, Govha said one major setback is that of water shortages, as they now have 3 fish ponds and broiler projects among others, which require a lot of water.

The 21 women started the project in 2018 under the guidance of Hand in Hand which offered them a loan of $US5 000. The loan was given under a project coded Enterprise Accelerator. 

The construction and purchase of Greenhouse material cost US$3 000, material for the three fish ponds and the construction also cost, US$1 000 while the remaining US$1 000 to buy seeds and other project needs

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