Respect Rungano Musiyiwa, 30, is an award-winning social-agricultural entrepreneur, passionate about sustainable smallholder agriculture development. He aims to contribute to the total eradication of poverty through coming up with participatory community initiatives towards climate smart agriculture and sustainable utilisation of our natural resources.
Respect is the founder and Coordinator of Centre for Agro-Entrepreneurship Sustainable Livelihoods Trust (CASL): a youth community-based organization in Mvurwi, northwest of Zimbabwe.
CASL focuses on sustainable smallholder climate-smart agriculture development and natural resources management. The organization aims to close the skills, information, market, and resources gaps in rural agriculture.
Sustainable Agriculture Resource Centre Project is CASL trust flagship project in the farming township of Mvurwi in Mazowe Rural District in Zimbabwe. This is a climate-smart agriculture and natural resources management resource centre meant to build our community resilience to climate change shocks, natural disasters and risks, toward a food secure, poverty-free, and prosperous society that efficiently utilize its natural resources.
This agripreneurship venture is on a 14 hectare piece of land and upon completion will consist of:
- training and conference facilities that can accommodate up to 300 delegates
- agricultural library with internet facility
- sustainable agriculture demonstration kits
- 20 greenhouses measuring 30 m x 14 m
- 26 fish ponds, piggery, poultry, apiary, tree and vegetable nursery, vermiculture, liquid manure tanks, organic agriculture, biodigester, mushroom growing houses, farm fresh produce kiosk, drip irrigation, three solar power boreholes among other facilities.
On the availability of funds, he will launch a nine-month practical training course on Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship and natural resources management.
This is targeting to produce fully capacitated 30 young agricultural entrepreneurs annually. The course will cover topics like; personal entrepreneurship competencies, farming as a business, climate change and agriculture, natural resources management, mushroom cultivation, apiculture, aquaculture, agroforestry, water management, sustainable energy and carbon management among other topics.
By the end of the training each graduate will have registered a company, opened a corporate bank account and obtained a tax clearance certificate. They will receive a loan based on their production during the training period to start various agri-businesses. They will choose to implement their project on our site or at their home.
The motive behind the project is that when he dropped out of university he took it as an opportunity to go back to my rural area and work towards the sustainable development of our smallholder agriculture based livelihoods.
With the assistance of my colleagues he started a community youth group and we engaged in various voluntary work to get support from the community, local leadership, and developmental partners to set up the sustainable agriculture information and resource.
The project will involve setting up various facilities. Every nine months will recruit 30 aspiring young agripreneurs who will undergo our sustainable agricultural entrepreneurship and natural resources management practical course.
The trainee agripreneurs will be learning whilst doing actual and serious production. The sales proceeds from the production will go towards, Project administration costs, their subsistence allowances and the bulk will go towards a graduation loan package.
With a land grant from our local leaders Mvurwi Council Commission and a USD 50,000 seed grant from the Global Environment Facility, Small Grants Programme/UNDP the project have managed to set up the following facilities: one solar-powered borehole, one greenhouse, cleared eight hectares of land, 600 m long water canal, traditional poultry housing, three mushroom houses, tree and vegetable nursery, claimed 3 disused sand poaching pits into fish points, one fish hatchery, and one hectare agro-forestry.
The project indicators we use to monitor and evaluate the project implementation are number of youths trained, number of agri-businesses established, increase in disposable income and number of project initiatives replicated in the community.
Since we have managed to set up some of the facilities we will use the USD 5,000 grant to kick-start our practical training course on sustainable agricultural entrepreneurship and natural resources management with 15 young agripreneurs.
The budget is as follows:
Training Costs (USD)
- Consultancy fees 600
- Training equipment and materials 1,100
Beekeeping set up costs
- Bee hives (50) 650
- Installation costs 50
Mushroom set up costs
- Spores (100 kg) 400
- Tubing (50 kg) 150
- Hens (100) 600
- Feed and vaccines 250
- Fingerlings (10,000) 650
Marketing costs 300
Contingency expenses (5%) 250
Blogpost and picture submitted by Respect Rungano Musiyiwa (Zimbabwe): respectmusiyiwa[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #294 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
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.
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.