A group of women in Sengezani, Gwanda have come together to form a village savings and lendings club and have now ventured into various income generating projects to boost their coffers and uplift their standards of living.
The Hungoyedza Women’s Club has taken advantage of the abundance of the baobab fruit to produce various products such as jam for the local market.
The women are aiming to supply bigger markets saying those suffering from hypertension have attested to the health benefits of the locally produced jam.
“When we started, we immediately got a positive response that pushed us to increase production levels. We have taken our product to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and the Gwanda Agriculture Show where our product sold like hot cakes,” said one of the women.
The high cost of bread has seen local villagers in this area benefiting from locally produced plain buns and other confectioneries from Asambeni Women’s Club.
“We specialise in baking plain buns which people are buying as opposed to buying highly priced bread,” said one of the club members.
Both projects are looking to non-governmental organisations and other well-wishers to support their business ventures.
“We intend to grow bigger but we are resource-constrained so we are looking to well-wishers to help us with machinery to increase production,” said a representative of the clubs.
Meanwhile, the government has been encouraging women, through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, to form cooperatives and apply for loans from the Women Empowerment Bank.
So far there has been a low uptake of the funds by women in the province.