Project Launch: 12-21-18
Ulumba is a rural part of Zomba District in Eastern Malawi. The area is struggling with challenges such as food insecurity, insufficiency, and malnutrition which are attributable to the high poverty rate and inadequate knowledge and limited skills adoption of optimal nutritional practices at the household level. O
It is against this background that Zomba Urban Women Association (ZUWA) proposes a project for the intensification of the cultivation of Cucumis sativus (cucumber). The project aims to support 240 households attain stability in terms of food security and dietary sufficiency at the household level, increase the nutrition level of the local population throughout the year, and improve its socioeconomic status through the sale of the fruits and vegetables.
Project Update: 3-11-19
After three months of implementation, the Cucumber Cultivation in Ulumba project trained 36 lead farmers, who have in turn trained and supported 109 farmers to establish five cucumber gardens in five villages. Out of the 109 farmers 84 are women, joined by 25 young men who were motivated by the work the women were doing. All the farmers were trained and gained knowledge in cucumber cultivation, agri-business, and environmentally friendly methods of growing cucumbers. The farmers planted over 900 cucumber seedlings and 80% germinated, grew and produced cucumbers as expected. The project actually faced a challenge of too much rains, which affected the growth of the cucumbers in some gardens. At the start of the harvest season, a total of 1468 cucumber fruits have been harvested and sold in various market outlets including small lodges and super markets. It is projected that 3000 cucumbers will be harvested and sold by May 2019, which will contribute to improved income levels for the farmers from an average of $10 per month to $25 per month. The participants are happy with the project citing that the money generated from the sale of the cucumbers has helped them purchase household necessities, and that they are hopeful more money will enable them become self-reliant, especially as they continue working on the project through the summer.