GFAR blog

YAP proposal #133: One Pack Farm Finance (Given Chipilipili, Zambia)

Given Chipilipili_On Site_Kapiri_Zambia

An industry providing potentially about 70% of a country’s GDP and more than 80% of employment should be considered to be of great importance. This is agriculture, of course, and more specifically farming. Across most of sub-Saharan Africa, farming (small-scale farming, in particular) is the primary livelihood of the majority of the population.

With economies growing at breakneck speeds, and urban centres straining to keep up with the influx of migrants looking for jobs, the small-scale farmer often gets left in the dust. Africa has the ideal makings of a farming community, but faces many challenges, even when blessed with fertile soil, ample land, water, and labour closely tied to the land. The question is: how can the African small-scale farmer be helped to become more productive?

As a child growing up in the rural part of North-Western Zambia, I noticed that small-scale farmers were faced with many constraints and challenges. These include: the continued practice of convectional farming, reliance on ever-uncertain rainfall, high cost of seed and fertilizer, low yields and a subsequent exploitation by middlemen—which have resulted in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty among small-scale farmers.

In trying to make a difference and help provide solutions to these constraints and challenges One Pack Farm Finance (OPFFIN) was formed. OPFFIN is an agribusiness enterprise that lends farming inputs (seeds and fertilizer) to small-scale farmers and they repay in-kind with bags of maize after harvest.

What is One Pack Farm Finance All About? 

OPFFIN Business Solution Model

Using a market-based approach, OPFFIN facilitates activities and transactions at two levels of the farming value chain, including seed and fertilizer sourcing, and market support. Farmers get inputs at the start of the farming season and are required to repay when they harvest. The enterprise also provides market for these farmers and more others who are not on the scheme to sell their produce. A complete set of services is indeed provided within walking distance of the farmers we serve. Our service bundle includes:

  1. Financing for farm inputs
  2. Market facilitation to maximize profits from harvest sales

How it Works

The model is based on the solidarity group lending system were farmers are grouped into small groups of five to ten people co-guaranteeing each other. The groups register with the manager, then a background check is done on the clients to assess the capability of repayment. Upon approval, the group is eligible to access the inputs when the distribution period starts. Client farmers are expected to repay in kind with the number (quantity) of bags agreed.

What has been done so far?

Truck Transporting Collected Maize_Kapiri_ZambiaOPFFIN have already acquired land (a farm in the area) and a manager is already on the site who has been interacting with our farmer members. We have so far reached a clientele of about 80 farmers with good repayment record (90% collection). Right now we are in the process of reaching out to the seed and fertilizer companies for supply of inputs at subsidized prices and also in the process of forming and dividing the existing clientele into solidarity groups.

OPFFIN Sustainable Model

OPFFIN is currently targeting 5,000 farmers in Kapiri Mposhi District of Central Province Zambia, but the enterprise has plans to expand to other parts of the country. The enterprise is also planning to expand in other areas by providing the farmers with technical know-how and the agronomic practices (new farming technologies, climate change, conservation farming, etc.) to maximize their yields and profit margins.

Our success indicators will range from the yield-per-hectare of maize and soya bean fields, and between the quantity of inputs required and output sold every year. We also want to measure our success based on the number of farmers joining the scheme on a yearly basis.


Construction of the warehouse                   USD 1,500                          Immediately funds are given

Laptops (2)                                                USD 500                            Immediately funds are given

Labour                                                       USD 500                            Distribution Period

Inputs                                                        USD 2,500                         August 2016

Given Chipilipili is a 28-year-old agriprenuer residing in Lusaka, Zambia. He has the passion for farming and the zeal of lifting small-scale farmers out from the vicious cycle of poverty by empowering them through proper input-supply-chain management, trade, and agronomic practices. He Holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics and more than two-years’ working experience in different institutions and microfinance.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Given Chipilipili (Zambia): given.chipilipili[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.

 This post is published as proposal #133 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
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  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3


Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

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Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.



231 thoughts on “YAP proposal #133: One Pack Farm Finance (Given Chipilipili, Zambia)”

  1. Progress always involves risks… so take the risk of growing the business. I love the plan

  2. Small scale farmers just like SMEs, have so much potential to develop our nations and our continent (Africa) at large. OPFFIN comes in as a real package deal in trying to provide solutions to some of the many constraints and challenges faced by these farmers. Am inviting your comments, questions and suggestions on farmer input supply chain and credit services.

    1. Thank you Mr Mwaba, I really want to make a change for this country as a future leader. Agriculture is the way forward to develop our country rather than just depending on copper.

  3. That’s a brilliant idea Given. It must be supported as it is an alternative to the mining industry which we solely depend on….am with you my guy..

    1. @Dennis, you have just hit the point. It’s high time we started driving away from over dependence on the mines because they are not sustainable, agriculture is the best way for Zambia as at this time. Let’s support this cause. Thank you D

  4. I am so thankful for all the support I’ve received from you all guys, thank you so much

  5. The best way to predict you future is to
    create it. You have created a great one here.

    1. Thank you Jack, let’s create this future together, we are the future leaders of tomorrow and we are strong only if we work together and support each other.

  6. That’s a brilliant idea Given. It’s an alternative to the mining industry which we solely depend on…I am with you my friend…

    1. @Mukwiza, thank you so much let’s work together to create a bright future for Zambia and the world at large

  7. As a student in mass communication I would like to find out how your project will benefit the women. Since they are the majority when it comes to small scale farming.

    1. I really appreciate for your question Ellen, women are indeed the backbone of Agriculture and this project will benefit them in that their needs and desires are at the backbone of our business, we will tailor packages that suit their need especially those involved in gardening by subsidizing inputs like seed, chemicals etc to maximize their produce and profits. Even now the majority of our clients are female. We will also work with female groups in the area to promote the initiative, thus empowering them trough training and capacity building

  8. agriculture has the potential to diversify our economy and leading to greater hights. wel aticulated and explained chipili. the idea ought to be creating enabling enviroments for market bassed lovelihoods. and how do we do that financial inclusion is one path way via SACCO’s
    And the most eminent is as a stake holder in agriculture bridge the gap between men and women in agriculture as they are a spark plug to a holistic and sustainable development .

    1. Well articulated Innocent, indeed we need to bridge the finacial inclusion gap for this segment of farmers who are usually neglected by the big financial institutions.

  9. Wow this is a brilliant idea you have brought. I am greatly happy with this,may the Almight God be with you all along.

  10. Great plan you knw as youths we really to need be involved in such projects because we are the future leaders of this country(world at large) and its our job to develop this country through such projects, well done….

    1. Thank you Kennedy, indeed it’s high time the youths got involved in developing our countries esp in Africa. I appreciate your sentiments

  11. Great idea brotherman….this will go a long way and we are with you through and through. So proud of you.

    1. Thank you my man Joel, its a project for all of us let’s support the people who are underprivileged

  12. Great job Mr. Chipilipili, only such kind of projects can address people on the bottom of the pyramid can be consider as a sustainable development and a solution for Africa. We stand by your side always.

    Keep it up!

    1. Lenny thank you so much, indeed we need to promote these sustainable solutions tailored at helping the marginalized in our countries.

  13. I really appreciate everyone that is supporting me and am assuring you that this work will continue even if I don’t win this because where there’s a will, surely a way is always there.

  14. This is really a good idea. It can serve as a classic example of how agriculture can be supported by the education sector, which is often an isand isolated in its own world, not contributing as much to the needs of the people who can make the bestimate out of it. Especially in Zambia, where young intellectuals are often driven to cities, you have taken the goodwill to do the opposite to serve the people who need your expertise the most. Really commendable.

  15. Agriculture will remain a key avenue for future investment and growth in Zambia. So not only do I love this proposal but I also endorse it…..that’s if I can…great stuff mr chipilipili.

  16. Wonderful proposal and idea to venture in such projects as we kick-start the diversification of our economy as youths, and surely I see a better and brighter Zambia in the near future if more of us come onboard and think in one accord to develop our beautiful country.

  17. Mr Chipilipili, as good as the proposal sounds good and interesting I have been concerned about how sustainable is your model?

    1. Thank you Mr Winter, sustainability of the model will be based on several factors. One of them will be the agreement with the input supplier companies as it will enable the firm to have available subsidized inputs to supply our clients. Also integration into agro-extension services to farmers which will in-turn improve their productivity and profitability.

  18. Agriculture sector will help in the development of our country Zambia. Keep reaching new heights!

  19. l like the project it’s really good and considering that you are still young with a good vision.keep it up

    1. I really appreciate Mulube, you know as the youths we are the only ones who can do something about the future

  20. Hello Mr Chipilipili, I have a question. How do you plan on reaching the targeted 5000 farmers?

    1. Hi Lenny, our plans is to reach farmers through agricultural shows, networking with prominent extension agents, advertising via community radio stations.

      1. Oh Okay Given that is great, am just wishing you all the best man. I know you will make it keep the faith

  21. Great solution for the nation Zambia and generations to come. Please, watch out for factors that speedily send these great solutions to economic dust bins.


    1. Thank you Mr Nyirongo, I really appreciate your comment. Indeed sometimes great ideas just go wasted. But I know, with the help of everyone and working hard great accomplishments can be achieved

  22. I have a question though, considering the effects of climate change we have experienced in the past seasons as evidenced by uncertainty in rainfall patterns, do you have plans for irrigation schemes?

    1. Thank you Rhoda for that question, indeed climate change is here and its a threat to Agricultural sector. In trying to mitigate its effects, OPFFin have longterm goals to introduce irrigation schemes to its clients in the future. Its a demand driven product as the investment is huge. Thank you for your observation

  23. I love the points raised, it’s a great non-selfish plan and when implemented will better the lives of many Zambians.
    加油 加油!

  24. Great Job Given! It’s encouraging to know we have generational thinkers like you in our time. I believe this project would go a long way to reduce over reliance on the goverment. And also encourage other young people to start something on their own.

  25. This is great man, other than just depending on government efforts, its high time the private sector got involved

    1. @Winter your support is very well appreciated. The private sector should move this our economy, let’s get involved

  26. People I really appreciate your support its really encouraging. You can also make some recommendations, critics and ask questions. Am looking for opportunities to strengthen the idea. Thank you

  27. I also employ you my good friends, share this link in your networks, at work and whatever platform you can use, I need the support of everyone. Many Thanks

  28. Great Idea! This initiative will go a long way to help the poor and brand the agriculture sector too! Good job Bro!

    1. Thank you so much Aanis, Agriculture is way to go…’s changing people’s lives

  29. Great projects starts simple and get to grow into very big impact-full organizations, I can see this one becoming one. We are behind you bro!!

    1. Wow Eric it feels nice to hear such great words from people like you, together we can make it a huge success

  30. It’s awesome seeing your childhood dream flourish into reality. Am particularly amazed with your passion and determination for agricultural. You have broken the norms of agricultural being associated with only senior citizens. …This is a great inspiration to the youth ;young and vibrant to bring up such initiative that will benefit the masses. ….Great stuff young man

    1. Thank you very much mulamu, I really appreciate for all those encouraging and wonderful words. I’ll really work hard and make it become a reality.

  31. Through agriculture, the Nation is feed……hence this idea is really important because it will feed a great number of people, and create employment for our youths today. great plan going on Given

  32. This is so good my friend, am going to support you and am sure it going to work considering your enthusiasm and determination. Make us proud bro!

  33. Success is never easy but with determination and hardwork we can achieve it, this project is good and if done on a large scale can really improve the livelihood of our ever neglected smallholder farmers. Keep up the good work, its really good

  34. I believe agriculture can bring great development.keep on wit the great work and hav patience.

  35. If all youths were thinking in such a manner, Africa would have developed a longtime ago, this is good Given

  36. Great Idea! This initiative will go a long way to help the poor and brand the agriculture sector too!

  37. Great plan you knw as youths we really to need be involved in such projects because we are the future leaders of this country

  38. This great idea should be supported and am hoping you win that 5000 because the initiative will benefit a lot of smallholder farmers

  39. This is a great inspiration to the youth ;young and vibrant to bring up such initiative that will benefit the masses. ….Great stuff young man

  40. Thank you everyone for all your support I really appreciate, may the Almighty God bless you

  41. Success is yours our brother and this idea is just too brilliant to go without a vote, don’t lose hope

  42. It’s true that you are my inspiration uncle Given, am praying for u that u win this grant because a lot of people are likely to benefit from it. God is with u

  43. Am praying for u that u win this grant because a lot of people are likely to benefit from it. God is with u

  44. Its a good idea and cemented by the experience you have in lending to people with little or no collateral, I have a few concerns though..
    1. Are farmers going to receive inputs as a group or individuals?
    2. what’s the minimum or maximum a farmer can get per season? a lima? a hectare?
    3. what happens if the input companies don’t buy into your idea to offer discounts or as you put it , “subsidized inputs “?
    4. what do you do to the farmers who don’t pay back? is there insurance coverage in the package?
    5. what happens if you are not funded?
    6. If it’s not funded, try to partner with others to offer more experience in extension, insurance, equity raising because it’s a great idea which needs more polishing and more criticism

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