Mr Chrispen Bvukuta is one of a few backyard gardeners who have realized the potential of ornamental horticulture in Triangle. While most of the gardeners have been producing vegetables mainly for consumption, Mr Bvukuta decided to utilize his backyard garden for income generation. He then ventured into ornamental horticulture in 2018, having been inspired by a neighbor who has been in the business for some time.
Ornamental horticulture involves the cultivation of decorative plants for commercial and aesthetic purposes. In his backyard garden, the farmer invested about USD $300 to start the project, including setting up nurseries and purchasing other necessities. However, Mr Bvukuta doesn’t regret investing his hard-earned cash as the project has become a thriving business and a critical source of livelihood in the face of the current economic shocks.
The backyard gardener who cultivates palm trees such as the Cuban royal palm or Florida royal palm, King palm, Queen Palm and Chamaedorea; and flowers like crotons, roses, Duranta amongst others contemplates having more nurseries across the country to supply the insatiable market for flowers and other decorative plants.
“At first, I used almost USD300 to start this project. My goal is to invest more to expand my project especially to have more nurseries across the country,” said Mr Bvukuta in an interview recently.
The palm trees and other plants are sold to as far as Harare, at prices ranging from as little as USD$5 per plant depending on the size and variety or type of the plant. Generally, ornamental plants have a higher market value than vegetables grown in the same backyard gardens.
The plants can be sold at farmer’s markets in major towns and cities targeting hotels and restaurants, as well as florists. Clients also include individual home owners, landscaping companies, property developers, producers of perfumes amongst others.
Floriculture projects like that of Mr Bvukuta can be implemented on a small scale, providing a reliable source of livelihood especially in low income communities where there is reliable water supply.
Fairly large scale production, targeting export markets is also feasible, given the high demand of flowers in foreign markets. Mr Bvukuta says “anything is possible if you work hard.”
The gardener can be contacted on +263775513397.