As Nhimbe Fresh, our vision is to be a profitable, sustainable and environmental sound centre of excellence. Integral to this is our employee’s well-being and the capacity to support and contribute to the development of our community and province. Smallholder farmers are important players in the agricultural sector, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where they provide up to 80 percent of the food supply. Due to low yields due, small plot sizes, a lack of access to finance, and weak links to markets smallholder production tends to be marginal at best.Nhimbe Fresh has formulated a model that is more viable and benefits the company and smallholder farmers mutually. Effective farmer training is at the core of our sustainable out-grower scheme, not only in farming practices and business skills but also in the social and health aspects.
This training includes supervisors, extension officers, and farmers’ club chairs and traditional leaders who oversee the communal irrigation schemes. Nhimbe Fresh is setting up an extension service where officers visit growers, on-farm or plot, to provide hands-on, one-on-one training and problem solving to ensure higher yields of export quality produce. Apart from this training, Nhimbe Fresh enables access to inputs and irrigation infrastructure.Plans are in place to train growers to achieve Global GAP international accreditation, so produce can be marketed, after grading and packing in the pack house, to Nhimbe Fresh’s export customers.
Nhimbe Fresh has identified 500 smallholder farmers as out growers, initially within 100km radius of the Rakodzi pack house, as post-harvest and cold chain management is critical to quality and shelf life of fresh produce.Going forward, and to enable out growers from other provinces to join the scheme, Nhimbe Fresh will extend its out-grower network through the establishment of satellite cold room storage facilities at strategic centres, where farmers can deliver produce. Refrigerated trucks will move consolidated loads to the Marondera pack house.The out-grower scheme is expected to generate employment, of itself, for over 1,000, and Nhimbe Fresh access to 1,500 hectares of production.
Nhimbe Fresh has partnered with the Young Farmers Association to develop and empower the youth in agriculture through access to domestic and export markets.
Nhimbe Fresh runs a clinic and child care facilities on the farms for use by employees. Nhimbe Fresh also supports the Marondera Children’s Home where about 200 children are being raised. A structure is being evolved by Nhimbe Fresh to enable funding for school fees. The company will, in turn, offer employment post-schooling to those with the aptitude for the business.
On a social side, sport is encouraged and Nhimbe Fresh funds its own football team, known as Green Leaf, which scooped the 2018 Independence Cup for Mashonaland East Province