by Constance Chitombo
Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) is a National Membership driven organisations representing workers and traders in the informal economy throughout Zimbabwe. ZCIEA has 43 Territories in urban and rural areas with Gutu Territory being one of the Territories.
Gutu is the third largest district in Masvingo Province, southern Zimbabwe, after Chiredzi and Mwenezi. It is the northernmost district in the province. The name “Gutu” is historically reported to have emerged from “Chinomukutu wemiseve” – meaning, “the one with a load of arrows.
Six members of the ZCIEA Gutu territory youth structure joined together and started a farming project producing tomatoes, potatoes, and sugar beans. The group is led by Amos Masunda. Amongst the six are three men and three women based in Masunda village in Gutu Mupandawana near Chinyika Township.
They started their project in June 2018 with only 2000 plants of tomatoes, 400 plant potatoes, and half-acre sugar cane. Their income-generating project is helping them to earn a living though they are supplying their products to the local area in small scales.
Gutu youth through their project proved that success comes through handwork. Despite the economic meltdown in our country including the high cost of producing green crops, they continue with their business even though it is producing a small profit.
Some of the key challenges they are facing include;
unstable prices where they purchase seeds and chemicals.
Some seeds are not properly treated.
The market is too far 35 km from where they operating from.
Do not have modernized irrigation equipment so they are using manual methods of irrigation which are time consuming and tiresome.
They aim to grow their business and supply all the areas in Gutu with their produces. The group is appealing for assistance with water pump either diesel or solar pump, pipes, knapsack sprayer, chemicals and seeds in order to boost their project. The group through ZCIEA Gutu Territorial leadership is engaging the Gutu Rural District Council to have Memorandum of Understanding between ZCIEA and the Council. They are also requesting the Council to allocate trading space for informal economy traders and construct market at Chinyika Township.