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Greenhouses grow popular

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For Gilbert Gumbo of Harare’s Vainona suburb and his friends from the Brethren in Christ Church, making money has never been so easy.

“We have realised that we are all in dire straits economically and we need finances, and we thought of starting a greenhouse at home,” Gumbo said.

A greenhouse is a structure where plants are grown and the structures range from small sheds to very large buildings.

Greenhouses can be used to improve food production.

The concept is now growing currency in Zimbabwe’s urban areas where there is a high demand for fresh produce.

Gumbo and his friends set up their greenhouse on a 200m2 piece of land at one of the church members’ yard. They grow tomatoes.

“We also noticed that our church in this dollarised economy does not have much really in terms of finance and there are also a number of people from my church who do not know how to go about earning a living.

“We have realised that people worry too much about what they don’t have compared to what they have,” he said.

Gumbo said greenhouses had an advantage in that they required small pieces of land and the technology was cheap.

“The capital including the greenhouse and the drip pipes is what was expensive, as the cost was at $3 800,” he said.

“We planted 400 tomato plants and the success rate of these plants was 100%.

“Each plant will give you 10kg of tomatoes that will translate to four tonnes.”

Gumbo said in the first season one would be able to recoup the first investment from the sales.

He added that managing greenhouses was also cheap and less time-consuming.

The greenhouse that Gumbo and his friends manage represents at least 3 000 kits that have been sold in the country since 2002 when the project was introduced by Pedstock Investments.

The company’s administration manager Macmillan Makaluwa disclosed that they sell cucumber, tomatoe and green pepper seedlings which they import from Israel.

“We have been experiencing a high demand of the green house from all over the country and people are involved in both open and green house projects,” he said.

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