Cooperative Gardens and Rural Development the Case of Help German in Gutu Ward 25 Zimbabwe

Leonard Chitongo, Emilia V Magaya


The study assesses the contributions of cooperative gardens brought by Help German in the process of reducing vulnerability and enhancing rural development through putting the poor as their first target in the community. The research was conducted in ward 25 of Gutu District which is situated in Masvingo Province. Rushwaya community has experienced severe droughts due to erratic rainfalls being received in the area as a result of climate change. In a bid to reduce vulnerability of such communities to further disasters, NGOs like Help German came in to help the people. The research pinpoints how the beneficiaries benefited from participating in the program and indicates how Help German helped the local people in improving their livelihoods. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques to solicit information related to the study. Questionnaires and interviews were administered to the respondents by the researcher. Focus group discussions and observation were also used to collect data from the respondents. Stratified random sampling and simple random sampling were used as sampling procedures to select respondent  a sample of 30 respondents was obtained representing a population of 15 villages participating in the project. The researcher concluded that Cooperative Gardens have greatly improved the standards of living of Rushwaya community. The community`s capitals have been improved through the livelihoods brought by Help German which are cooperative gardens, livestock production and rehabilitation projects. The researcher recommends that for the programme to be sustainable a lot has to be done on water harvesting because the community is still receiving inadequate rainfall for gardening.

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