When Perpetua Muziri lost her office job, she paid a local company to put up two, 120-square-meter (1,292-square-foot) greenhouses in the backyard of her suburban home.
“I heard about greenhouse farming on Facebook, and I thought of trying it out, since I was now jobless,” she says.
For the past four years, Muziri has been growing cucumbers and other vegetables and selling them to local supermarkets in Harare and Marlborough, where she lives. Each month, she makes close to 1,500 bond notes, a form of legal tender unique to Zimbabwe. The bond note was pegged at the same value as the U.S. dollar when the note was first introduced in 2016, but it quickly lost its value. By early December, 1,500 bond notes went for about $441 on the black market. Even so, Muziri says greenhouse farming is a good idea.
There’s another greenhouse down the street from her home, in her neighbor’s backyard. Marlborough is a low-density area. That means Muziri has ample space for the farming structures, she says. But that’s not the only reason more residents of Harare and surrounding areas are choosing to become greenhouse growers.
Once a method of farming only used by Zimbabwe’s commercial farmers to protect their crops from soil-borne diseases, pests, and harsh weather, greenhouse farming now brings high profits to urban dwellers, even though some do not have any prior farming experience.