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To highlight the celebration of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, ZADF presents three stories about some of our successful women in dairy. Meet Getrude Musasa and Vesta Mbwera from Honde Valley MCC, Rudo Mushangwe and Josephine Chizenda from Domboshava bush dairy and X from Beatrice. Representing the many hard working women of the dairy industry of Zimbabwe.

Happy International Women´s Day!

Team ZADF

The Honde Valley Delite Yoghurt

The Honde Valley Delite Yoghurt

The Honde Valley Women’s Savings and Loans Group received a grant from Ministry of Women’s Affairs in 2013 whose goal was to empower women to start and manage their own businesses.

Pictured are Getrude Musasa and Vesta Mbwera, two of the 21 women behind the local popular Delite Yoghurt in Honde Valley.

Three years later they are buying milk from the Milk Collection Centre in Honde Valley for processing yoghurt for sale to the local market.

The group continues to grow with a view to expanding their market whilst also looking to other income generating projects. One of their dreams is to buy their own cows and to create more employments opportunities for their community.

Gertrude and Vesta are now self-reliant through this venture and have gained invaluable knowledge and experience. We salute the unity of this group of women who are learning and growing together and generating incomes to improve their livelihoods.

The Domboshava Cow Hotel

The Domboshava Cow Hotel

Rudo Mushangwe (Domboshava Dairy Manager) and Josephine Chizenda (Bookkeeper) are instrumental in the running of the new, and very successful concept of a cow hotel in Domboshava.

37 members of the Domboshava Dairy Association self-funded and purchased 24 cows; 11 of which are now milking and producing 130 litres per day. Of note is one animal milking 42 liters a day.

To enable good governance of the association and management of the animals; Rudo and Josephine together with five others were hired to manage the dairy.

The Association is providing Artificial Insemination (AI) to surrounding farmers for genetic improvement which in turn will develop better breeds for new producers for the dairy.

The Association hopes to purchase 10 cows through the Dairy Revitalisation Program which seeks to grow the national herd and improve genetics. (For more about the DRC, check out our website and Facebook).

”The only challenge we have right now is that we don’t have enough milk to fulfill demand”- Rudo says with a smile.

Sheila Mugabe in Mashonaland East

Sheila Mugabe in Mashonaland East

Mrs. Sheila Mugabe together with her husband and her children ventured into dairy farming in 2002 with 13 milking cows without any prior experience. Working off 100 hectares the family has grown their herd to 250 comprised of Holstein and Jersey and are producing 5 500 litres every two days.

She is continually making efforts to reduce costs of production on farm by making silage and generating power through the use of a biodigester.

Sheila says that dairying requires hard work and perseverance. One needs to be able to manage their herd and to maintain records of their operations.

As a means to expand and improve the family run farm, this hardworking woman is also studying Horticulture at the Women's University in Africa.

“When there is a decision to make, we always sit down and put heads together. Both need to take an active role in the business for it to be able to grow”. - Sheila