The effectiveness of donor-funded nutritional community gardens in the city of Masvingo

Kudzai Chiwanza, Barbra Mapuranga, Ishmael Pombi, Maxwell C.C. Musingafi


This study to establish the effectiveness donor-funded nutritional community gardens in the city of Masvingo in light of the fact that most of them have stopped working. The objectives of the study were to identify the reasons for establishing nutritional gardens in the city of Masvingo; to establish the causes of abandonment of the nutritional gardens by the beneficiaries; and to establish how the dilapidated gardens can be improved. The study focused on 7 of the 10 wards in the city of Masvingo. Of the 210 members only 70 (10 from each of the 7 gardens) were sampled for the study. The data collection instruments used in this research were structured questionnaires. Overall respondents felt that nutrition gardens were not economically viable as they failed to meet their basic needs like payment of school fees for their children, paying for accommodation rent, and so on. Donor-funded nutritional community gardens in the city of Masvingo were found not to be as effective as anticipated when they were introduced. The study recommends that there should be engines to pump water because the boreholes are too heavy; a programme should be in place to train garden beneficiaries in basic productive skills including those for marketing; agricultural extension workers should avail themselves to supervise the operation of community gardens to boost the confidence and productivity of the gardeners; awareness campaigns should be rolled out which sensitise the gardeners about the nutritional value of certain varieties of vegetables; water canals should be constructed for easy watering; and the gardeners should device means to assign night watchers to prevent thievery.

Key words: nutritional gardens, donor-funded, community, Masvingo, malnutrition, Action Faim


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