Community-Based Commodity Enterprises (CBCE)
CBCE is one of RETZ’s key projects which seek to organize and build enterprises trading coalitions amongst grassroots communities. These trading coalitions are transformed into organized formal Commodity Associations/Enterprises that are able to meet trading quality and demands.
The project’s aim is to revitalize and strengthen agency amongst communities with a view of consolidating vast community resources towards a common shared business development vision. By organizing and building grassroots coalitions, RETZ believes that communities’ capacities to collectively confront and proffer sustainable solutions to their day to day matters are enhanced. Collectively communities’ sense of ownership is improved to power sustainability which will go a long way in developing individuals into effective leaders and change agents.
In 2014, RETZ under its CBCE programme facilitated social-enterprise revitalization of Chinamhora Horticulture Association (CHA) which is a group of horticulture farmers in Domboshava located in Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. CHA have got a membership of about 2500 farmers.
RETZ trained the management committee as part of equipping them with leadership and financial management skills.
The organization also managed to build the capacity of the membership on agro entrepreneurship. This resulted in local resources mobilization, introduction of low cost farming technologies; low input farming systems, community based agro processing and market linkages services provided through Chinamora Horticulture Association (CHA).
RETZ managed to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communal farmers, who are members of CHA in agronomic, marketing, governance, leadership; farming business education; and value chain and addition. The CHA became the nucleus of the farming activities in the Chinamora communal areas by providing low cost farming inputs, tillage services, transport and access to market linkages.
As a result, CHA have now become the greatest supplier of horticulture produce especially for the markets in the capital (Harare). Farmers are now organized on issues to do with where to access inputs and how to value add and market their produce. CHA is now providing its membership with tillage, transport, and extension services which have gone a long way in minimizing post-harvest losses thereby ensuring convenience to the markets.
An increase in incomes amongst farmers has been noted as the quality and quantity of production have increased. However, challenges are still being faced in terms of infrastructure development for instance the poor road networks which connect to the capital markets. Some challenges have also been noted in market price fluctuations.