Update Feb 2020
We were awarded another grant from Kitchen Tables Charities Trust for £7000, amazing! So we have been busy with the next stage of our project.
4 x shelters have been built, with a separate area for weaners and another separate area for pregnant sows with piglets.
Our sow, Betty, had 9 healthy piglets and we also rescued another 5 piglets (and a sow which sadly died) from a local family who couldn’t afford to feed them. So we have 15 Pigs living free range in a fenced off area. The piglets will be grown and mainly sold for meat to raise funds. We plan to move into Makota pigs (indigenous breed) that require less feed & water and are hardy. These we will breed and use to start other pig projects in the area.
We built stands for 3 fish tanks. One tank has been set up with a trial batch of 500 fingerlings. We are feeding these 50/50 with commercial feed and pig waste. Our plan is to use 100% organic feed and we are also looking into maggot farming. On our return to Zimbabwe in June we will set up the other 2 tanks and order more fingerlings.
A mushroom house was built and set up with 20 pockets of mushroom spawn. We have harvested our first batches of mushrooms even though high temperatures have made growing the mushrooms difficult.
We plan now to grow mushroom during the cooler months April to August.
Due to the difficult economic situation in Zimbabwe, buying the Hyline Brown Layers for egg laying proved uneconomical. Instead we brought 130 Boschveld chickens, they are hardier and lay pretty well. As feed costs are extremely high at present it made more sense to buy these chickens as they are capable of scavenging for their feed also.
We have also been able to breed chickens and have been able to set up two chicken project with two local families. Each family was donated 16 hens and 4 cocks.
Solar power and back up generator:
Increasing our batteries on our solar system and adding a 6500 watt generator, means we have been able to run our incubator. Quails, chickens & ducks have been hatched so far. This also should now allow us to offer an incubation service to the local community and help us to breed our poultry quicker.
We have built a new rabbit house which will also include an outside area, so we can do free range rabbit farming. For now we have 2 females and 1 male, oh and 2 little ones.
Clearing our vegetable garden and installing drip irrigation should not only save water but also allow us to utilise the space better and grow more produce. We have sown cabbages, tomatoes, potatoes, 2 types of greens, spinach, carrots, onions, shallots, peppers & chillies.
We planted apple, avocado, grapefruit, lychee, banana, peach and mango fruit trees trees in our orchard, 16 in total. Around 20 moringa trees were also planted around our site.
This has been started and will be finished on our return to Zimbabwe in June.
Despite the classroom not being completed we have had our first visit from a local school.
We can not thank Kitchen Tables Charities Trust and all our supporters enough for their support.
Update August 2019
Further updates will follow.
We were awarded funding from Kitchen Tables Charities Trust to set up a community garden, orchard, borehole & fowl run. The £10,000 grant has enabled us to fence off an area of land around 8700sqm, site and drill a borehole, put up a shade greenhouse, build fowl run for chickens, ducks, turkeys & guinea fowl. Fencing the land made it secure and has also allowed us to start our beekeeping project Bee Against Poverty
Poultry Farming – Roadrunner chickens (Free Range) are very popular in Zimbabwe as they are easy & cheap to keep as they need very little feeding. The birds sell for around $8/$10 and are very nutritious. We aim to breed them to enable us to loan birds to disadvantaged people so that they can start their own projects. Also to be able to sell for meat to raise income to further the Trust’s work.
Chicken Layers, we currently have 15 x Hyline brown layer chickens, producing 10-13 eggs a day. We aim to quickly grow this to around 50 birds producing around 40 eggs a day. There is great demand for eggs in the area and this could be a good income generating project for the charity.
Turkeys, Ducks and Guinea Fowls are other popular birds in Zimbabwe. We aim to start breeding these to enable us to loan birds to others to start their own projects. These birds sell for around $12 – $25 depending on size, again are very nutritious and lay many eggs. These projects would work the same way as the roadrunner project.
Quails became very popular in Zimbabwe in 2015, known for their nutritional values. We can incubate several hundred eggs at a time and mostly sell the quails for meat to raise income for the charity and we will also sell the eggs. Mainly this project is to raise income for the charity but also to help others start their own projects.
Broiler chickens, a quick turnaround chicken project, from chicks to full grown chickens in 6 weeks. We have facilities to raise 200 chickens at a time in our new fowl run. Ideally we would like to buy chicks every 3 weeks, 100 at a time, which would mean a constant income, profit every 3 weeks around $190. This project would be to raise money for the Trust’s work and enable us also to give back to the community by regularly donating chickens to the local Baptist hospital and local churches. (Something we have started doing from time to time but would like to be able to do it on a more regular basis). At present we have 2 families we support whom we’ve helped start broiler chicken projects.
We would also like to add Geese to our poultry project.
We have space now for Rabbit farming, there is a good local market for rabbits and they are becoming more popular. Mainly kept for meat, easy to keep and breed. This project would again mainly be to raise funds for the Trust but also to help others start their own rabbit project.
Community garden – shade greenhouse, the climate in Sanayti is very dry and hot most of the year. This has moved us to erect a shade greenhouse over the garden to protect from the sun but also from birds. The garden is 8m x 20m. Produce will be sold to raise funds and also donated to the families working with us.
We have built a water tank tower and sited the well. This will be dug on our return in August 2018. A 60ft well will be hand dug by a local well digger, we have a solar pump for the well, a 5000ltr tank and pipe work laid ready to supply water for our project.
We have planted an orchard with orange, lemon, mango, banana, paw paw, plum and mulberry trees etc, this ties in well with our Bee Against Poverty project.
We have built and set up 10 top bar hives. These hives will be used to train others in beekeeping and to produce honey to sell. Our training will include setting up individuals, community groups, schools, etc. with hives and equipment. The honey produced by the project will be combined together for selling and to enable everyone to get a fair price for their honey. For more information on our beekeeping project please click here.
We will keep you updated on the project as we go along.