Families benefit from Zimplats community garden

By Sharon Chikowore

14

MHONDORO-NGEZI – VILLAGERS in Ward 10 Mhondoro-Ngezi are growing high value
herbs and are benefiting from a community garden sponsored by Zimplats.
The Rutara community garden project consists of 24 families, with 75 percent of them being
women.
They produce garlic, turmeric and ginger. The community garden commenced in May 2022
with garlic, which they harvested in November and was sold in December.
The garden is helping improve their livelihoods even though they say the progress has not
been an easy road.
Many of them got money, which they have used to transform their lives. The least of the
recipients received about US$500 up to more than US$1000.
In an interview with Telegraph, Rufaro Muchenjeri (60), said they had benefited a lot from
the project as she harvested 120kg of garlic from the two beds owned by each family.
Now they are looking forward to the programme changing their way of life as this is their
first time to participate in the community garden project.
“With the money I have been paid from the harvest, I am going to settle the arrears I have
with the schools where my children learn first, then buy fertilisers to put in my maize. This
project has paid us more than what we have ever earned from maize and we are looking
forward to more benefits as we are going to continue with the garden project.
“For now, we have tumeric and ginger, which will be harvested after seven months and all
these plants it’s our first time to plant them, but we are getting help from our Agritex Officer,
Tapiwanashe Moyo, who is running up and down, making sure we get the information we
need and see to it that we apply the knowledge we get,” said Muchenjeri.
Evelyn Mupambawatyi, explained their journey, how they started, how difficult it was but
that they sailed through and managed to reach where they are now as they do not have any
expenses in growing the herbs since they are all organic.
“We went to see and learn how others were doing their gardens, but we were not sure if we
would be able to make it, but we decided to give it a try. This place was a forest but we
worked so hard to be where it is now to the extent of losing weight but we made it and that’s
when we were given garlic seed by Zimplats.
“We managed to apply everything learnt and here we are today. As Ward 7 we are happy
with the help we got and we are continuing with the garden,” said Mupambwawatyi.
Zimplats Community Relations Officer, George Matsoka, who has been with Ward 7
community from day one said they would continue ploughing back to the community as it

helped the villagers earn foreign currency as they already have a market and will help them
survive.
Traditional Grains Producers’ Association (TGPA) is offering seed to the community as well
as buying from them when the herbs are harvested.
TGPA Chairman, Basil Nyabadza, said the farmers were still learning but they were
promising to outshine since they had shown they were capable. He implored other big
companies to plough back into their communities.
Zimplats has promised to drill a borehole so that the community can work on the whole
garden since it is the company’s mandate of empowering communities and schools in
different ways.

Comments are closed.