At a time when the nation is grappling with hunger, the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital nutrition garden has been hailed as an innovation to feed the patients and ensure a healthy citizenry.
In an interview with Spiked Online Media, Richard Ngwende, the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital Agronomist said the nutrition garden was started in February 2013 as an initiative to provide fresh produce for patients and staff.
“The project started with 3 people and to date, there are 9 people working full time.
“The garden is producing rape, covo, cabbage, lettuce, butternuts, green paper, spinach, tomatoes, maize, carrots and onions, potatoes. Maize production was meant to eliminate the burden of purchasing maize meal for the hospital,” Ngwende said.
The agronomist said as part of the expansion programme, the department intends to venture into poultry (meat and egg production).
“Our intention is to have a drip irrigation system to save the precious liquid (water). We need seeds i. e. variety of vegetables, maize, beans, fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and garden tools so as to double the yields. Currently, we are supplying the following quantities per week to our main kitchen: cabbage (700kgs), rape /covo (500kgs), spinach (500kgs), tomatoes (200kgs), potatoes (300kgs), and onions (150kgs),” Ngwende said.
The project has 6 x 10 000 litre water tanks but for efficient irrigation modalities, it requires a drip kit.
Juliet Chikurunhe, the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital Public Relations Officer said recently, the hospital purchased a tractor, 3 dish ploughs, and a mechanical planter, a move which is expected to boost the farming operations and reduce manual labour requirements for the enterprise.
A partnership between leading corporates, TelOne and NetOne resulted in the installation of three boreholes, and mobilisation of critical hospital equipment at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital.