Commercially available fertilizers are generally expensive in Zimbabwe. There is a great need for organic compost that has been made using plant and animal waste. Adding animal manure and remains from legume plants has the potential to enrich these natural alternatives. Natural alternatives are environmentally friendly and more sustainable.
Bio-Gas (Methane) is an extremely interesting area which is still relatively unexplored in Zimbabwe. There is a lot of information about this on the internet. Producing gas from animal and plant waste which can be used for cooking and heating is relatively easy. These types of projects would be well suited to more rural areas - where residents can be charged a fixed monthly fee for the gas they use. Bio-gas is sustainable and environmentally friendly. It also prevents large amount of trees from being cut down. Being able to supply simple gas stoves which can use this gas effectively would add an additional income stream to the business. An extremely nutrient rich fertilizer is also produced as a side product of bio-gas production.
Fruit production in Zimbabwe has decreased drastically over the last few years meaning there is great demand. Trees take a few years before they bear fruit, however an enterprising Entrepreneur can also plant quick growing fruits like Strawberries while waiting for other slow bearing fruit trees. There is also nothing preventing fruit farmers from growing vegetables while waiting to reap the benefits of their fruit trees. There is also a relatively large export market for fruit. Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts are extremely profitable. In South Africa one hectare of macadamia trees can earn up $25,000 in export profits per harvest.
It's estimated that Zimbabwe requires approximately 120 million litres of milk per month. Currently Zimbabwe produces about 70 million litres. Zimbabwe is spending approximately $7 million on importing milk powder to make up the other 50 million litres. Besides milk, Zimbabwe could also benefit from the production of other diary products such as cheese, butter, cream and yoghurt.
We would like to see the clothing and textile industry revived also. Ideally we would like to assist businesses who manufacture their own fabric and clothing from locally available materials, as well as shoes, bags and other leather products. Market research will be important in this industry, because bales of donated clothing which are sold by vendors for $1 per item could mean that there is no market for more expensive clothing. In this case, exporting to other countries might be a potential solution.
Zimbabwe has a large power deficit. Load shedding is frequent in Zimbabwe. A business which addresses this problem using renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power would be a good investment. Consider building a "solar farm" which provides electricity to a few houses (rural or urban) for a monthly usage fee. Another idea could be installing solar systems for free and charging an affordable monthly fee. If a business can recover the initial costs of the equipment in two years, but continue charging a reduced monthly fee, the business has the potential to earn a monthly revenue for the duration of the life cycle of the equipment. If an entrepreneur is fortunate enough to have a strong-flowing river in their community, ideas which can generate power from the current would also be a investment. It's important that all these ideas are turned into a profitable business while helping communities to access more affordable energy.