REALITIES OF PROGRAMME BENEFICIARIES AND NUTRITION GARDENS IN MASVINGO, ZIMBABWE

Kudzayi Savious Tarisayi, Everjoy Munyaradzi

Abstract


A plethora of studies has established that nutrition gardens have been utilized in Zimbabwe to alleviate poverty in recent years. This article interrogates the realities of the intended programme beneficiaries of a poverty alleviation intervention in Zimbabwe. The authors drew from the work of Robert Chambers to unpack the marginalization of the realities of the intended beneficiaries and the sustainability of selected nutrition gardens in Zimbabwe. Central to Robert Chambers’ work is the argument that imposed development initiatives are problematic due to lack of programme beneficiary consultation. A purposive sample of 15 participants, made up of 12 beneficiaries of the nutrition gardens and three community leaders were selected for this study. Data was generated utilizing photo-elicitation interviewing and photographs. Thematic data analysis was adopted to analyse the transcribed data. The findings from this study revealed that the selected nutrition gardens in Zimbabwe succumbed to numerous sustainability challenges. Due to these challenges livelihoods of vulnerable communities were lost. The study further noted that the sustainability challenges of the selected nutrition gardens were attributable to the one size fits all approach adopted in the introduction of the nutrition gardens and inadequate research before the implementation of the nutrition gardens. The study also established that there was no programme beneficiary consultation. It is recommended that poverty alleviation interventions should prioritize the realities of the intended beneficiaries.

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