Mom and daughters observe hydroponics of their backyard

“In Zimbabwe we have a mentality that the youth have. They think it takes a lot of land to start a farming business, lots of vegetables and products to generate an income, ”says Tinodaishe Violet Mukarati.

Today she works in the farm shop and also works as a farmer. The 28-year-old is the eldest of two daughters in a family of three. Mukarati’s mother, Venensia Mukarati, is an accountant and single mother who decided to start farming in 2017.

A first foray into large-scale agriculture in rural areas far from the city quickly proved impractical.

While researching how to farm closer to home – and figuring out a way to move her daughters into the business – Venensia came across hydroponics. Here, she decided, this was an option that didn’t take up much space and allowed for a much more practical approach, even for someone who lived in the city.

Many lessons later, plus around $ 6,000 in investment, and the family has a thriving hydroponics business with two main facilities, one on the family home grounds in Borrowdale and the other near the Pomona fresh produce market in Harare.

“At the moment we have 4,500 plants per cycle with our project. Before COVID-19, we were making about $ 1500 a month. However, the pandemic has really had an impact on our earnings and we are now doing about plus or minus half of what we made before COVID-19, ”explained Tinodaishe.

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