Market gardening boom at Bomba Gokwe
Bomba area in Gokwe South, 20 kilometers from Gokwe Centre is an oasis of market gardening activities as villagers sell oranges, bananas, mangoes, sweet potatoes, water melons, sugar canes, tomatoes, onions and other vegetable produce and a wide variety of fruits throughout the year. This is made possible by aquifers which dotted around the area, thus making water for irrigating their gardens throughout the year, making Bomba the “Green Belt” of Gokwe.
“We never stop selling and growing any vegetable produce or fruit at anytime of the year. This place endowed with abundance of water and rich soils. Water is readily available as it seeps from underground. We can irrigate our gardens throughout the year. We practice market gardening all year round; we support our families from growing and selling produce. We also maintain our fruit gardens and sell fruits to other people,” said Ernest Mangwiro from Bomba.
A visit to Bomba by this Reporter witnessed villagers selling their produce and buyers loading vehicles with bananas,,tomatoes,water melons and
Other fruits and vegetables, which later find their way to Kwekwe,Kadoma,Gweru, Beit bridge and Bulawayo.
“This time of the year, we are selling mazhanje, mangoes, mapudzi, water melons, tomatoes, potatoes and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I earn around $30 to $50 a day. I am now able to send my children to boarding schools and electrify my house by generator or solar. We are just the same as city folks”, said a jovial Ethel Matenga, a vendor at Bomba Shopping Centre. She frequently travels to Kwekwe to sell her produce at Kwekwe Vegetable Market, where other vendors buy from her for resale.
Most villagers in Bomba have managed to build better houses and electrified their homes using generators and solar power. Some have even sunk boreholes and irrigate their gardens powered by generators.
Most villagers sell their produce at Bomba Shopping Centre, where trucks from as far as Beitbridge come and load vegetables, fruit and other produce to different destinations.
“I am from Beitbridge, I come here after every ten days to buy vegetables and other farm produce which I then resale in Beitbridge. I am operating a viable business. I used to hire a truck, but now I managed to buy my own”, said Methuzela Ndliwayo
Business at Bomba Shopping Centre is expanding as new shops that sell furnisher, hardware and other products have opened shops. Even nightlife has changed at Bomba Shopping Centre as bars, bottle stores and nightclubs are making a lucrative business as villagers and other traders have money to spend after a hectic day in the gardens or market.