Empowering Communities through Piggery
A Domboshava community based organization, Wadzanai Community Development Trust has embarked on a piggery rearing project to empower women in their communities.
Women and youth are the most vulnerable demography of the harsh socioeconomic conditions in Zimbabwe. Poverty, unemployment, early marriages and unequal distribution of resources, especially land with their male counterpart are some of the challenges women face. The patriarchal system, which accords men ‘ultimate’ power and control over women has been critical in subjugating and impoverishing women. Women’s status and role in the society has been that of child bearing while their destiny was always confirmed to the kitchen. Decision making in matters affecting youth and women was always the preserve of the male.
The project, ‘The Pass on Gift Scheme’ first launched in Goromonzi and Bindura districts and has since spread to the ten administrative districts in Mashonaland Central province. Emphasizing on the promotion of women’s and youth access, ownership and control of economic resources, the project also seeks to break the cycle of poverty among this demography by enhancing their capacity through economic empowerment. It also seeks to unlock the financial barriers of women and widen their access to business opportunities, resources and income in order for them to avert the financial dependency to sustain their livelihoods which expose them to domestic violence.
Women in Africa often bear the brunt of underdevelopment and are disproportionate victims of weak governance, inadequate health care, infrastructure bottlenecks, and education. They have limited access to the means of production despite the fact that they make up half of the continent’s population and produce 61.9% of economic goods, however, they only account for 8.5% of wage-earning employees.
The project is strategically linking its key objectives and activities with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset)-a government initiative designed to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenization, empowerment and employment creation among both women and youth.
Under this project a group of 8 women is given a sow pig and the piglets from the sow pig are shared among the group members who can then launch their piggery project within their respective households. The sow pig is then passed on to another group of women who are interested in pig rearing. Starting off with five pigs, the project was a success and to date 555 pigs were bred the under the project. Income derived from the project has improved the standards of living for women and youth starting at household level. Additionally the realization of income at household level has led to investments in other livelihood projects.
Below are testimonies from the beneficiaries
Mrs. Mupfupi has managed to achieve many things through the piggery project. After rearing the pigs, she sold them and received better returns from them. She managed to pay school fees for her high school child, new uniforms for the student and brought food for her family. More so Mrs. Mupfupi has also managed to buy her agricultural inputs which included fertilizers which are a necessity in farming. Having managed to spend her money from the piggery project for consumption purposes. Mrs. Mupfupi also managed to extend her two roomed house to a 4 roomed house!
The piggery project has transformed Mrs. Sutu’slife, she has managed to paint her house. The house which has 9 rooms was painted and the money to paint it was from selling her pigs. She had longed for a while to get it painted the money from the piggery made her dream to come true. Additionally she also managed to build a kitchen and purchased groceries for her family.
Mrs. Mugota has testified that pigs have generated money which has gone a long way in her household .She has managed to extend her two roomed house to a four roomed house, this was made possible by the funds she generated from selling pigs. The purchase of an engine and pipes for the purpose of watering her vegetables all year round byMrs. Mugota was made possible by the funds from the piggery project!
Through the piggery project Mrs. Chikasha managed to buy fertilizers as part of her farming inputs and groceries for consumption.Mrs Chikasha is also into welding and the piggery project has made significant contributions to the upkeep of her welding business. She supplies FABS with herfinished products from her welding business. She has managed to establish a market for herself and FABS which is one of the prominent supplier of electrical gadgets and a hardware as well.
In Shumba ward Mrs. Dahwa is one of the women who has benefited from the piggery project. By selling one pig she managed to buy three more pigs which shows that her piggery project is expanding. The three pigs multiplied and she managed to buy herself a solar panel .The solar panel is now used for lighting her chickens. This shows that the piggery project goes a long way, the return from the piggery projects are also used to fund other projects!