Agroecology sustains livelihoods.
In Shurugwi District, there is a transformational story of self-sufficiency and remarkable entrepreneurship by Mrs. Kalonga.
Mrs. Kalonga kicked off her remarkable journey of practicing sustainable and ecologically friendly agriculture with just 9 beds of vegetables where she has managed to reap an average of 13 bundles per harvest on 5 sqm weekly. Mrs. Kalonga now sells chilli as well, as a complementary product to the vegetables she is currently selling.
Besides the vegetables, she also has 3 beds of tomatoes which have given her an average of 2 buckets per harvest, enough to satisfy the subsistence needs of her family and also for commercial purposes.
With respect to maize meal, Mrs. Kalonga testified that she could only afford to purchase 10kg of mealie meal at any given point in time. She alludes that the quantities were not enough to cater for the needs of her immediate family.
She, however, managed to gain knowledge from SCOPE Zimbabwe workshops where she was trained on the different biological methods to maximize maize yield such as compost making, liquid fertilizer which came handy during the just ended incessant rains. The trainings are bearing fruits as Mrs Kalonga is expecting at least 2 tonnes from a small piece of land within her yard.
"Before, I didn't have much knowledge about organic fertilizers and intercropping. There are many things that I did not know, but through SCOPE Zimbabwe trainings, I have managed to change my family’s outlook on life", remarked Mrs. Kalonga.
Additional to the crops, Mrs. Kalonga has also been rearing chickens on her yard. She confirms she started with just 7, 1 male and 6 females. Over the past few months, she has managed to grow the number to 18 chickens and 60 chicks. In total, she is expecting that in a few months, she would have close to 80 chickens, assuming all the chicks mature.
One last project that Mrs. Kalonga has managed to yield immense results is the Rabbitry project. She started the project with just 4 rabbits and the number exponentially increased to 41 in a very short space of time.
Unfortunately in December 2020, 37 of her rabbits were stolen and she was left with only 13 rabbits. She is currently selling her rabbits for USD$10.00 each.