I am Baraka Ambindwile Songa, a Tanzanian male, aged 25, graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture (2014) with bachelor of science in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
I am currently employed and working as a field officer for the “Integrated project to increase agricultural productivity” in southern regions of Tanzania assigned the task of strengthening Farmers organization capacities in institutional, managerial and technical aspects to support the needs of their members through Training, Mentoring and Coaching them together with improving smallholder market-led agricultural production by training Agro-dealers in technical and business management aspect together with Agro-hub network development and relationship with partners in business strengthened.
Having experience and opportunity to work with existing agro dealers and SHF’s, I have exposed to the challenges that are faced by both parties: Poor network of agro dealers, adulteration of agro inputs and information flow on extension, new technologies and advisory services to SHF’s.
Hence these challenges opens an opportunity for me to engage in agro-input business (Seeds, Pesticides, Herbicides, Fertilizer and some farm equipment i.e. sprayers and gumboot).
The project will adopt demonstrational method to create demand of its inputs in every ward it operates, where by every input sold will be demonstrated to farmers how it functions and step by step on how to use it, will be availed to farmers prior to the application on their farms.
In additional due to high availability of fake inputs, the project will develop a system where by SHF’s will have to enter into a contract on the genuineness of the inputs and its impact before purchase so that if the sold input is fake then SHF’s will be paid back, terms and condition will be intact.
Since the project will adopt strategies that have never been used by any agro dealer in the region (Contract with SHF’s before purchasing inputs to ensure on genuineness of the inputs) many customers will be fetched and the project will be sustainable due to the fact that the project to be started will be providing and extending extension services through promotional demos to SHF’s also farmers are always striving to increase their productivity with population increase. Hence there is no way that they will stop to demand inputs.
The socio-economic impact of the project to the community. It will help community members to increase their income level through employment opportunities, increased production assured by availability of original and genuine agro inputs together with extension and advisory service.
Being a stakeholder in agriculture sector and a son of peasant farmers I understand what it feels like when SHF’s applies agro-input to his/her farm in expectation to increase/boost its yield and at the end the day he/she didn’t receive the expected results either due to the failure of following instructions (Lack of advisory and extension service) or fake agro inputs.
Hence my motive to submit this project is to provide SHF’s with a reliable and dependable source of agro –inputs that will work beyond their expectation together with extension and advisory services. This project will be a win-win business, as an owner I’ll make business and expand my operation to reach a large number of poor served SHF’s in rural areas.
The community will gain through reduced price of agro inputs at retail price since inputs will be sourced directly from the input company, increased production and hence having high level of food security (“Zero hunger”).
The following are steps that will be adopted while cultivating to achieve project goal:
First I am planning to rent a building for carrying agro input business in place identified prior. Second I’ll increase my network of agro inputs companies in which I’ll be sourcing agro inputs. Third I’ll register with all authority regulating agro input business in Tanzania (TPRI, TFRA, TRA, TOSCH and Ministry of Agriculture and livestock).
Fourth I’ll offload the first consignment of agro inputs to my shop.
Fifth: launching of agro input shop will be done where by farmers, local government authority representative, NGO’s working in agriculture value chain. Input company representatives will be invited.
Sixth the operation of project will begin officially; where by all wards served by this shop will have an opportunity to be established with various demonstration plots of different agro inputs.
Furthermore the project will establish database where by feedback from every farmer served by the shop will be collected on how the input worked to his/her farm. This action will give the project and input company clear picture on what to recommend and produce to fit farmers need and their environment.
The project is expected after some time to have its own premises whereby it will include store, agro-input shop, conference room (For training of farmers and meetings) and office also its surroundings will have some demonstration plots.
Reaching at this stage we believe project dreams will be realized and farmers will be served with agro inputs in hand and knowledge to boost their production hence increasing food security and their income level.
The following is what have been done so far to get the project started. I have agreed with my business partner to try our best level to raise a total amount $4577 by September, 2016. So every partner has to come with $2288.5 on the table.
Personally I have taken some steps to raise the required amount: first I have invested $320 in crops and I expect to raise $1201 by August. Second every month I save $91.
By September, 2016 in this plan, I expect to have raised about $910.
My business partner is taking some steps too to meet the target.
Somebody will ask “why up to September”? The answer to this is just simply as in the southern highland regions of Tanzania, especially Mbeya Region, the peak season for agro dealership business is September-May.
The actual measurable success factor for this project is sales in monthly basis, number of farmers served per month, number of demonstration plots and farmers reached with new technology or knowledge in every season, Number of cases for fake product and productivity level of farmers. My success will be measured by the number of business contacts established and sustained together with revenue sold per season/year.
Seed fund of $5000 will be used as follows:
– $687 will be used for renting a space for agro input shop (May)
– $275 will be used for registration with appropriate authorities regulating agro input business in Tanzania (May)
– $275: Office equipment (May)
– $138: Establishment of agro business networks (May-June)
– $3350 purchasing and acquisition of agro inputs (June-July)
– $275 Launching of agro input shop (July)
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Baraka Ambindwile Songa (Tanzania) – songabaraka(at)yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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