HORTICULTURE- Making Markets:Land Reform, Agriculture and New Local Economies in Zimbabwe- low res

I am Mrs Mahove. We farm tomatoes here at plot number 17 in Wondedzo. We plant tomatoes, beans, cabbages, potatoes, onion and rape: these are among the things that we produce in Wondedzo. The fields are rainfed, and we also use rainwater for the tomatoes. For the (horticultural) garden, we have an irrigation pump. We bought our irrigation pumps in Harare. We apply chemical fertilizers to the beans, cabbages …and everything; we also use cow manure. There are people who work for us in our garden. We go to an Apostolic Church and therefore we work together. We have two people who are always in the garden and others come to help each day. When we are planting, we need about 15 people to help us. When we are ploughing, we hire 16-20 people daily. At harvest time we then employ about 45 people each day. On the issue of transport for delivery of our tomatoes to market: I use the car that I bought with the money I made from farming. At first I used a donkey cart, so when traders came to buy, I would escort them with the cart to the main road: that was difficult. But now it’s easier because I have a car. Also I bought vegetable crates in Masasa, wherein I put my products so that they can be well packaged and get to the customer without damage. I service the car and buy fuel with the profits that I make from tomatoes. At first, it was difficult, but I have now managed to establish a market. It’s not yet great, but it’s better than before! I now supply OK Supermarket; I could not do that before. I also supply the Great Zimbabwe University and at Nyika, I also have customers there. I also sell at Jerera, Gutu and Masvingo, and at the Chitima market. So everybody in this area knows that I am a farmer. I have been farming for 4 years now doing horticulture, farming tomatoes. The water source is far from my home, so I have to travel a long distance to my garden. I plan to drill a borehole near my home, so that I can look after my crops, and then develop from there. There are also some challenges that we face at the market. At some times of year the market will be so flooded with produce and the prices will be low, so we don’t reach our selling targets. Also, in the rainy season, our products spoil quickly and we are unable to sell blemished goods; so that is a major loss. At times the council interferes and tell us that we need permits, and we will then not be able to sell… and since our products are perishables, we can’t afford disturbances; we then experience a major loss. I fund my own farming, there is nowhere else I get funds. If you go the bank, they do not give us credit, so are facing these problems. If we could get more funds, we could expand our farming. But we can’t, so we just have to use what we have. My wish is to go further and produce more, so my country will have more food through our work. We farm cabbages and other things such as garlic, beans and vegetables, which we help others to sell in Masvingo town. Some of the seeds that we use are bought in Harare, as well as the fertilisers. At times we plant without fertilisers because they are expensive and we use cow manure; it works out fine. Our produce is sold in Masvingo. At times, if Mr Ndambakuwa is here, we use our car and if he is not here, the customers have to come and collect their orders themselves. Sometimes we look for transport so we can supply them. Our main product is garlic. We get a harvest of about 4 bags or even more and we sell that in Harare and Masvingo, but Masvingo has lower profits compared to Harare. The main challenge that we face here is the issue of money. Mr Ndambakuwa has sought funds, but he doesn’t get loans because the banks are not willing. Also, the issue of power cuts is a major challenge. Some of our crops suffer because of lack of water, as we cannot irrigate without electricity; that is a major problem we face. From the money that made here, the workers are paid and we use it to build houses like those ones you see over there. We have also bought engines and the water tanks down there. We also have bought pigs and a car. Where we are here now is where we do our fishing. You can see the guys getting into the water to fish. I’d say that from Monday to Friday we catch about 100kg of fish. People come to buy the fish, from Masvingo, Zaka…

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