Project Results: 

Brick and Bag gardening

Introducing recycling based green gardening with low-cost methods

This Brick and Bag project was a small pilot to introduce green gardening for the poor and vulnerable in peri-urban Maputo, Mozambique. The pilot started with the promotion of raised vegetable beds made from bricks, woven polyester bags and plastic containers. Vermicomposting, re-use of grey kitchen water and other simple practices were added. And the re-use of waste products is promoted, such as  gardening tools from metal scratch and reused plastics.. These low-cost methods of gardening allow for vegetables and fruits to be grown with limited space, water, chemicals and money. In this way, the target groups were able to produce more fresh and nutritious food for their families.

Key results

  • 20 clients/members (target was 10 clients), with whom regular service contacts are made.

  • About 9 products tested, of which 3 now as the main product: grow bags, grey water drain, Dutch buckets.

  • A horticulture manual.

  • A business plan, based on the outgrowers model (Urban Contract Growers). In this, special target groups with high vulnerability can get devices on a loan.

  • Repayment in one year is possible by partial sale of their harvest through a ‘pop-up shop’ with an 80/20 share for loan repayment/income.

Tips for the future

  • Starting small was the best advice: be realistic in projections and go step by step.

  • Building a committed team was key.

  • It takes very long to introduce innovations like this one among the urban poor: to open the market for this one, a switch was made to include also the higher income segment.

Potential for growth
The Urban Contract Growers and the ‘pop-up’ shop (see key results) look very promising. There is a scaling plan for 500 clients by end of 2020. In this plan, about 10-15 people have to be employed in the company and many more will find employment through horticulture. If the project lead is able to make an urban contract growers community from this initiative, it can become really big.

Project partners



Maputo, Mozambique


Growing population in urban areas of almost all less developed countries is becoming a threat to the limited resources (water and space) provided to the ecosystem by nature. This is affecting rural agricultural practices where large quantities of farm produce have to be produced to meet the growing demand. With this trend, most farmers are forced to use a lot of chemicals and fertilizers, cultivate in river banks and practice poor farming methods which affects: -the carrying capacity of fresh water sources (rivers and dams) to supply both urban and rural settlements -water cycle imbalance between surface water, underground water and air moisture
-the fertility and quality of soil as a result of over cultivation, soil poisoning and erosion

In almost all urban settlements; population density, high birth rate, early marriages and divorces, infant mortality, reduced life expectancy and high unemployment rate are the major social threats to humanity. These factors are leaving the majority, especially single mothers, the disabled, HIV/AIDS affected people and the poor under high levels of poverty.

With increasing urban cost of living, the average urban settlers have limited access to better housing and living conditions, education and health services because they cannot afford them. This forces them to live a miserable life.

GIMDA believes a variety of vegetables and fruits can be grown throughout the year from limited space, water, chemicals and cost while the livelihood of the majority can be improved through Brick and Bag gardening.

Project Plan

Phase 1: To develop a pilot survey to identify cost efficient tools and designs for Brick and Bag gardening and the type of vegetable and fruit varieties that can be grown.

Phase 2: Starts with an intensive brick and bag gardening campaign. The goal for the campaign is to bring awareness and create interest so as to generate income from different Brick and Bag gardening products or projects.

Further improvements will be done to the idea through prolonged research and development studies.

Target group

We target to touch the lives of the less privileged, disabled, HIV/Aids affected and infected people with our partners, while serving the needs and desires of different income earners, small to medium sized vegetable vendors and private or Non- Governmental Organisations.


Financial sustainability:
Our priority is to produce and provide quality Brick and Bag gardening kits into the market at an affordable value for money.

Institutional sustainability:
Partner with small scale vegetable vendors and large organisations in the same field to build a strong Brick and Bag gardening community involving individuals mentioned in our target market at large.

Environmental sustainability:
Our dream is to try and use every useful drop of waste and rain water possible to reach sustained vegetable and fruit landscape so as to improve social well-being in less developed communities. We focus on grey water reuse, rain water harvesting and the use of waste organic and plastic material to sustain an affordable Brick and Bag gardening campaign.

Technological sustainability:
Simplified mechanical designs should yield more output from less water, efforts and cost.

Social sustainability:
Developing and sustaining a beneficiary Brick and Bag gardening community through a knowledge sharing platform, conferences and up-to-date Brick and Bag Gardening manual.

Overview of Goals

To enhance urban and peri-urban gardening and its adaptation so as to boost social humanity in less developed countries.

Results and indicators

  • Sustain gardening communities through the use of a variety of seeds, Brick and Bag gardening designs, waste water and organic or plastic matter and sharing knowledge using different volumes of Brick and Bag gardening user’s manual and other knowledge sharing platforms such as training or communication platforms.
    • Brick and Bag gardening communities and members ( target )
    • Segmenting the market into four communities; ( i) the Disabled or HIV/ Aids patience, ii) the Poor, iii) Middle income and High income earners, iv) Vegetable vendors and Medium-Big sized organisations) and sustain a total of at least 15 members in the first half of the project in order to identify and document the project’s possible outcomes and impact.
    • Brick and Bag gardening kits or designs ( target )
    • Try and test at least 5 different Brick and Bag gardening designs/kits that should meet target standards on inputs, efforts and output.
    • Brick and Bag gardening user’s manual ( target )
    • At least one volume in every six months. (Target; 1)
    • Workshops and training ( target )
    • At least one meeting in every two months with the Brick and Bag gardening community and beneficiaries sharing knowledge and challenges.
    • Target market coverage ( target )
    • Expand the market reach into different locations and cities. (At least 3 more locations in Maputo by the start of the second half and one city or town)
    • Increased usage of residential waste water, plastic and organic matter to grow vegetables and fruits. ( target )
    • There must be a reduced quantity of residential litter and increased waste water and rainwater usage for gardening values. This will be noticed from the Brick and Bag gardeners and communities.
    • Improved diet and housing conditions of beneficiaries ( target )
    • Must be able to record the diet of gardeners at start and compare with their diet in the second half of the project and how Brick and Bag gardening has improved their lives and health.
    • Reduced consumer spending on vegetables and fruits. ( target )
    • To record a decreased spending cost on vegetables and fruits from the sustained community or first users.
    • Noticeable income generating members or project. ( target )
    • Vegetable vendors and other community members should start enjoying returns from low cost and effort investments in the second half of the project.