Gardening Education and Marketing
Provided there is an irrigation source, gardening offers a great method for securing dry season income and nutrition. Compared to rain-fed farming, it requires less labour, land, and inputs, though it achieves higher profit margins. A productive gardener impacts not only their family, but the entire community through the introduction and distribution of vitamin-rich foods. Whether it’s a first-time gardener looking to supplement their diet, or a life-long expert trying to tap into far-away markets, our gardening programs connect them to the resources they need to materialize their ambitions.
We’ve found that the largest inhibitor of gardening success and uptake is knowledge. How does one conserve their limited water supply? What crop and variety should one plant and when? What pests correspond to that crop and how does one treat them using local materials? SAM has an established network of talented gardeners who know the answers to these questions. Our job is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
Access to Inputs
When gardeners are ready to take their scheme to the next stage, they need capital. SAM provides small-loans and subsidies to gardeners who’ve shown initiative. Whether its seeds, tools, or irrigation pumps, SAM provides assistance until the gardener is able to expand on their own.
Once the gardener’s ambition transcends the limits of local markets, SAM helps connect them to larger buyers in urban centers. With knowledge of high-value crops, potential buyers, and supply chain logistics, the gardener can achieve even higher profit margins.
An example of our model: Sindowe Village
Sindowe Village is a good example of SAM’s gardening approach and the community's ambition. Sindowe is lucky enough to have an earthen catchment dam, though the large supply of water was initially only supplying two gardens. That was until a Sindowe resident attended a nearby workshop facilitated by SAM, where he learned the unrealized potential of gardening. He returned to his village and communicated what he had learned. A few days later, hectares of land were being cultivated and fenced. With further guidance and input assistance from SAM, they went on to accomplish the village’s first successful tomato harvest. They even rented a truck and sold the produce in a nearby township. Now, the gardeners are independently expanding their operations. They have gas pumps, water tanks, and wire fencing.