Agriculture is one of the sectors of the economy that receives the least attention from most African leaders, yet it is one of the most viable sectors of the economy. Countries that have embraced it have much to show to the world. With so much fertile land and a youthful population, one could easily point to Africa as the richest continent in the world.
Yes, this is possible, yes, this is attainable, yes, this will come true one day, but it has to begin with committed, passionate and an agro-oriented young people like Moses Chimwaji, along with the governments of African countries and national and international organizations such as YAP, which supports youth agriprenuers.
Moses Chimwaji is a small-scale former based in the city of Kitwe, in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. Born 30 years ago, Moses is the proprietor of Mozziket Farm and a founder and administrator of Youth as Farmers in Zambia (YAFA Zambia), a group on Facebook whose aim is to encourage youth to venture into agriculture.
He is a grower and distributor of vegetable such as tomatoes. With more than 8 years of farming experience, Moses believes that agriculture is the right way to go to boost the economy of every country and to create wealth for individuals.
Mozziket Farm would like to expand its production of vegetables to meet market demand in the community. It will do this by starting to grow other vegetables such as cabbage, eggplant and green pepper as soon as funds are available.
Hectares planted in tomato fields will be increased by having enough water at the farm. Vegetables are easy to grow and maintain. They have a ready market and this makes the project realistic and sustainable.
The project will affect the community positively by employing more youth and providing them with vegetables at a cheaper price. The vegetables will provide vitamins and minerals to the communities for healthy living.
Mozziket farm draws its motivation to grow vegetables from the fact that they are a cheap source of vitamins and are widely consumed. Both a rich and a poor man eat some on a daily basis. This fact brings more revenues to the farm as it caters to both the haves and the have-nots.
The steps leading to the success of the project are few and simple:
Firstly, we will ensure that we have enough water at the farm to sustain the business throughout the year as this project depends on the availability of water.
Secondly, we have to ensure that we have reliable companies to supply us with farming inputs such as seeds and fertilizers.
Thirdly, our competent employees should minimize waste of inputs while producing high-quality, healthy foods that our customers will consider to be of exceptional value.
Finally, we will ensure that we do not break the supply chain to our customers. Our mission is to have the farm produce enough to sell on every day of the week. That is out motto: MOZZIKET FARM, THE FARM WHERE FARMERS BUY FROM.
To kickstart this project, we have bought a 12-hectare farm where we operate our agri-business. We have registered our agri-business with PACRA, the body that registers companies and business in Zambia, as Mozziket Farm.
We have drilled 5 wells that are currently a source of water for our farm. We have bought a submersible pump, a 5.5 kv generator to power the pump and 2 10,000-liter water tanks.
The success of our project is measured by two factors; quality and quantity of our produce. The quality of our produce plays a pivotal role in attracting more customers. As a result of high demand for Mozziket Farm produce, there is a need to increase numbers of personnel. More personnel will in turn allow us to offer a greater quantity of our produce.
We have therefore adopted a QQP model to measure our success, that is, good QUALITY demands for more QUANTITY, which demands for more PERSONNEL.
We intend to use the grant of US $500 as follows:
- In order to have a reliable source of water for our farm as the 5 wells could dry up during hot season (September to December), we will drill a standard borehole for $1500. This step will happen immediately after receiving the funds.
- Buy 2 10,000 liters water tanks for $1,200 immediately after we receive the funds.
- Buy a drip irrigation kit for $900 immediately after we receive the funds.
- Buy a borehole pump for $600 immediately after we receive the funds.
- Buy a seed planter for $300 between July and November.
- Buy fertigation equipment for $500 between July and November.
By completing all the steps mentioned above our project will be a success in no time, and more youth will be empowered by employing them at Mozziket Farm. Remember, no farmers, no food, no healthy people.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Moses Chimwaji (Kitwe, Zambia) – moseschimwaji[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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