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Pilot greenhouse set up in Chivi

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Pilot greenhouse set up in Chivi



MASVINGO- Chomuzangari Women’s Cooperative and Hope Foundation in Zimbabwe Trust are setting up a greenhouse in Ward 13, Hapazari Village, Chivi.
The 500-square-metre greenhouse’s primary beneficiary is the 35-member Chomuzangari Women Cooperative which currently has a hectare under irrigation.
A tour of the greenhouse was held recently.
The project implementers are funded through a grant from the Welsh Government and Africa Grant Scheme. 
Chomuzangari Women’s Cooperative and Hope Foundation was founded by United Kingdom (UK) based Zimbabwean Lettie Chimbi, who hails from Hapazari Village in Chivi. 
Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Development Studies Lecturer Dr Hilda Jaka Mabiza, the community engagement services volunteer consultant for Hope Foundation, coordinated the tour. 
She said the greenhouse is an expansion of the existing community garden offering agro-business development. It also serves as a pilot project for more greenhouses to be established.
Mabiza said the thrust of the project is to socially and economically empower women and the local community.
“If the project is properly managed, farmers will be able to add value to their crops, through direct marketing, processing and producing high value crops. We wish to see the project grow to a point where farmers will sale their produce to big supermarkets and exporting to regional and international markets,” she added. 
Soil samples were taken to laboratories in Harare for analysis. Other remaining works include filling trenches with manure and land preparation.
The project has also seen the drilling of two boreholes, two water storage tanks with a total capacity of 15 000 litres and solar installations.
A greenhouse has various benefits including maximum profits, disease and pest prevention and maximising production among others. It has a climate-controlled space, allowing the cultivation of crops all year round.
Hope Foundation Field Officer Tanyaradzwa Tagwirei said the implementers have a thrust to enhance community gardening thereby promoting socio-economic development. 
Chivi Agriculture Extension Officer (Agritex) Taringana Makiwa said the project will go a long way in enhancing food security in the arid district. 
Cooperative spokesperson Eneresi Mandima said the project is empowering women and the community at large. 
She added that they are now able to send their children to schools and assist their husbands in supporting their families. 
Mandima said they are now able to generate more income from the sale of vegetables to nearby schools and towns.
Members of the cooperative will undergo training from different Government departments before they start using the greenhouse. 
Stakeholders who took part in the tour taught cooperative members the importance of business management training and investment saving.
 Zimtrade Client Advisor Kingston Gwatidzo said the fertility trenches in the greenhouse will be filled with manure, and land preparation will follow after. He also educated farmers on export development and promotion. 
Chomuzangari has been doing various community development initiatives including the drilling of community boreholes to ensure the provision of clean water, donating sanitary wear to school pupils, construction of girl-child friendly toilets and installation of solar systems.

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