Brian Garwe, a 26 year old farmer at Tshovani Irrigation Scheme in Chiredzi District of Masvingo has begun to reap the rewards from his tomato cultivation at the recently rehabilitated scheme. The scheme was rehabilitated under Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP). Garwe, who is resident in Ward 3, started farming in 2018 after dropping out of school. He took over the plot from his elderly mother Esther Garwe who owns 3 hectares in the scheme.
After harvesting his crop, Garwe managed to US$3600 before deducting his expenses. After deducting expenses totaling US$1200, he was left with a net profit of US$2400. Garwe managed to buy a motorbike, 5 cows, 2 donkeys and seven goats. The young farmer also managed to purchase inputs for the crop that he planted in the 2023 season.
In the last cropping cycle which started in July 2022, Garwe planted 0,4ha of tomatoes (Chibili variety) with a plant population of 8 thousand plants. Before selecting his crop, Garwe carried out a market survey which assisted him to choose the best variety and to determine the peak demand period for the market. He established that there was a ready market for his crop.
Garwe harvested his crop in October 2022, picking 35 boxes of tomatoes. Each box sold at USD 15 and got a total of USD 525 for the first pick. The young farmer harvested for one and half months picked 35 boxes twice a week. He harvested a total of 70 boxes with an income of USD 1050 per week.
Garwe said after seeing the results of his tomato production, other farmers had begun to approach him for advice in growing the same crop. He had been joined by six other farmers to form a group where they practice block production of the tomatoes. He testified that through the training that he received from SIRP in good agriculture practices, marketing and farming as a business, he was looking forward to producing more.