Do you wish to start the journey of being a successful entrepreneur and business person, the first step is learning a skill that will translate to a business, practical skills that can grow into production and manufacturing enterprises.
Here is an opportunity for you to learn skills that will make you an entrepreneur come 2024, don’t miss to be part of this memorable and impactful session.https://skillsforyouths.org/
Agro & Skills Training 2022 edition
Last year 2022 in august, we conducted a skills training at our offices in Nansana, Wakiso Hoima road and over 50 youth, men and women were skilled in:
Making organic fertilizers and pesticides
Liquid soap production
After the 2 day workshop participants were awarded certificates, excited to go and start on their skills and start business enterprises, the training was fun, educative and interactive
2023 Special Edition
Here is another opportunity to learn and start your journey of entrepreneurship.
This edition is so special since we shall be celebrating our 7th Anniversary & unveiling our skills academy. Please come and support us as all the money from this training is to help us build a Training Shade at our new center to boost our trainings.
DATE: 9th & 10th Dec 2023
VENUE: Spark Center in Luttisi Namayumba Hoima Rd Wakiso.
FEE: 75,000shs for both days Caters for: Breakfast, Lunch, Certificates & Free Seedlings
TIME: 10am – 4pm
TRAINING PROGRAM Day 1: Sat 9th 1. Mushroom Production 2. Making Organic Fertilizers & Pesticides 3. Urban Smart Gardening
Day 2: Sun 10th 1. Bar Soap Production 2. Liquid Soap Production 3. Anniversary Party till late
4. Business model formulation
Don’t miss lots of learning, networking, fun and those interested in camping come with your camping tents
How to Book & Register
Book & Register now before 1st Dec with 11,000shs, balance to be paid at the training venue on 9th Dec For payments send to +256 782 905808 or +256 708 900936 names Allan Ahimbisibwe
After sending please send us your full names, address and any other details to our email or WhatsApp
Organized by: SPARK AFRICA YOUTH INITIATIVES Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Farming is a serious business which needs you to properly plan well and maximize returns, the best way to do this is to have your figures right for planning and projections.
Today we will look at how to calculate the number of plants that go in an acre of land for different types of plants:
First thing you should know is that, an acre of land has a total area of 4000 square metres and this comes in different dimensions, it can be 100*40 or 80*40 metres ,or any kind of dimensions but as long as the area goes up to 4000 square metres
These are the steps we shall take to calculate the number of plants per acre of land.
Get the spacing of the desired Crop
Convert the spacing in metres
Get the unit area of the spacing
Divide the unit area by the total area of an acre which is 4000m²
What you get will be the number of Plants you will have in that Acre of land.
Lets do an example of this calculation for a crop like BANANA
Spacing for Banana is 3×3 metres
Unit Area is 3×3 = 9m²
Lets get the total Area of an acre which is 4000m² divide it by 9m²
The Answer is 444
So this means in an acre of Land we can have 444 plants hence the holes to be made
Tomato is a vegetable locally produced and highly consumed in Uganda. Almost on a daily basis every person has to eat a tomato in their food.
Common Tomato Varieties Grown
The choice of a Tomato cultivar is based on fruit quality, adaptability and reliability, susceptibility to diseases and pests. Varieties include – Money maker, Rio Grande ,Tengeru 97, Asila F1, Chantan F1, Anja F1, Star and many more others
It’s advisable to go for a hybrid seed for commercial farmers since these seeds are high yielding, resistant and produce durable fruits.
Tomato Growing Requirements
Tomatoes give good results when grown in well managed sandy loams and heavy clay loam free of hard pan.
Best results are obtained in deep, well drained loams. The soil should be rich in organic matter and plant nutrients, with a pH value of 6 to 7
Propagation of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are best brought up using seeds. However you can also use cuttings from mature plants to get more seedlings
You can Broadcast the seeds on the raised bed and lightly cover with soil. Or else you can create shallow lines using your finger and place the seeds there, then cover with little soil.
In one acre, you plant over 8000 plants with a spacing of 2*2ft. Seedlings are usually ready for transplanting 2-3weeks after sowing, and they must be transplanted on moist soil.
At transplanting you may use a fertilizer like DAP, place a few granules in the hole, Cover with some soil, then plant your seedling.
Of you can use farm yard manure, you apply 2 hand fulls in each hole, mix it with soil and transplant.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders of plant nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The plant responds well to organic fertilizers too.
After 1 month from planting, you have to start applying folliar fertilizers like Vegimax to boost the growth of the crop.
2. Weed control
These can be controlled chemically or mechanically. Alternatively hand hoes can be used to shallowly plough off the weeds. Avoid using herbicides when the plants are already in the field
this practice influences the flowering and fruiting of tomato plants. Prune plants by pinching off lateral branches as they appear in the leaf axils.
The more you reduce excess leaves and branches, the more space you leave for the plant to use nutrients for fruit development.
Mulch newly planted tomatoes in order to retain moisture in the soil and avoid weeds from growing. A heavy mulch is very good for our tomatoes plants. You can use dry grass, saw dust, coffee husks and many others.
5. Pest control
You have to control the insects and diseases that normally attached k the tomatoes. Normally tomatoes are affected by insects and Fungal infections.
Here you need to start applying an Insecticide (Dudu Acelamactine/Cyperscope) and a Fungicide (Mancozeb/Indofil) at once. Then spray every week starting from 1 month till flowering.
It’s good to seek advice from a plant doctor before buying any chemical to spray.
After the tomatoes have grown, the stems become vulnerable and weak hence need support. You can use strings tied upwards or you can tie logs of trees on each plant. This is more effective on high yielding tomatoes since they take long.
After planting your tomatoes, you must water them if it’s off season or in times of no rain. You have to water evening or morning.
After transplanting, you can start harvesting at 2 and half months. For hybrid high value varieties, you can harvest for the next 6 months
Harvest your tomatoes before they get to fully ripen. It’s advisable to leave some inches of a stalk on the fruit as you harvest, this will keep it fresh for sometime.
Passion fruits is one of the most expensive and not common fruit on market. Its highly nutritious and mainly produced for juice processing. Passion fruits are heavy feeders and sensitive to water logging therefore require deep, well drained fertile soils. It grows best at PH 5.5-7. Needs more of Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium plus organic matter. (Its prudent that you test the soil to be sure about the availability of these nutrients and know what to add)
1. Land Preparation
Passion fruits need to be planted in an open place direct sunlight. Remove all trees and bushes Do some ploughing to remove the unwanted vegetation.
2. Make the holes
Holes should be 2ft wide and 2ft deep. After making the holes, mix the top soil with half a basin of decomposed manure and fill back the hole.
This should be 7*7ft at least for the purple variety. Meaning we shall make 734 holes in one Acre.
You can choose to buy ready seedlings at 1500Ushs each or make your own nursery bed. At planting, get your seedlings, apply some 50gms of DAP in the hole then put your seedling and cover well. Transplant during cool hours of the day to minimize transpiration shock.
Ensure that you irrigate in times of no rain to avoid water stress, stunted growth and drying if the foliage. Keep enough moisture in the soil however don’t over irrigate as you may cause logging which is not good. You can use 10litre bottles and put a needle hole on them for dripping. It’s best to irrigate in the evening when it’s cool.
2. Fertilizer Application
Since passion fruits are heavy feeders, during the growing season they require a lot of nutrients like NPK and CAN and others. Top dress with NPK 50gms per plant after the first 30days and repeat every after 30days for the first 4months.
Then after 5months ,apply 50gms of NPK +CAN mixed together every month.
Foliar fertilizers are to be done every after 2weeks with high Nitrogen in the Vegetative phase of 1-4months and high potassium in the production stage.
Always make sure the garden is weed free to avoid nutrient computation and deficiency.
This is a very important practice In the life of passion fruits, make sure you prun to allow sunlight and air to filter through the vine to help ripen the fruit. Pruning the dead and old branches that have already born fruit. It also allows new growth hence more flowering and fruiting.
Young vines are trained to grow along the wire support, Tie a thin rope near the base of the vines and move it around to the top. Then you can construct a Net bed of about 5-6ft high and allow the vines to grow and spread.
6. Pest Management & Control
Passion fruits if not monitored can easily be attacked by pests like thrips, root knot nematodes ,mites, and mealy bugs.
You can do spraying using recommended pesticides, removing of infected plants, plant resistant varieties, weeding and other cultural practices .
7. Harvesting and Marketing
From one acre of passion fruits if we’ll managed, you can harvest 2 sacks a week. You start harvesting at 6momths with good practices, then keep harvesting for over 17months
If each bag is 500k you can make 1M a week from one acre. a month 4M A year you can make 48Millions Ug shs
However this doesn’t come on a silver Plata ,passion fruits need a lot of attention and Supervision to easily monitor any challenge, the investment is also not small.
TAILORING AS A VOCATION IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE MINDSET IS
Thousands of tailors across Uganda are graduated every year and many initiatives have come up to embrace tailoring as a crucial vocation to venture in and this has given a lot of hope to the youth and women in Uganda. But as always because of a mindset that has been fed in us through the education systems of not owning our own resources with passion and hard work but rather accepting that we are inferior and are okay with mediocracy. If you don’t understand how this is all connected, ask yourself why is 99% of all the clothes and bags we use are not manufactured in Uganda yet we export cotton and we have Ugandan designers that can make these products exported from china.
THIS IS CLEAR THAT THE SKILL IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE MINDSET OF THE TAILORS IN UGANDA IS. THEY ARE STUCK TO THE TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES OF THE INDUSTRY THATS WHY THEIR CHILDREN ARE STILL PUTTING ON CLOTHES PRODUCED BY CHINESE.AND WE HAVE NO PRODUCTION SYSTEMS CONTROLLED BY LOCAL UGANNDAN TAILORS.
ANYWAY! THATS A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY.
WHAT IS THE BIG QUESTION?
The Big question is where are these tailors now, how relevant are they to the local production sector and the economy at large?
First of all, lets begin with asking ourself a question, what are these tailors being taught where they learn the skill from? because the cause of lack of impact and relevancy as tailors in Uganda begins from there. Once we have tailors that are so packed with irrelevant knowledge, then they can never be relevant with the changing world today. As a tailor I have understood that most of the training modules developed in the curriculum are those that we very well know we cant compete on a large scale. like clothes for example. The other important issue about the curriculum is that its not market based or demand driven, it focuses on the modules that have been passed on from the previous years.
But the designers of these modules forget that times are changing, trends come and go, and that tailoring is an art, it describes the dynamics of fashion and design.
HOW DO WE OVERCOME THIS?
Clearly the drama in our leaders is exceptional, no one is willing to take the risk of changing a curriculum, but that doesn’t mean that we cant do anything about it. all we have to do is collectively empower the local Ugandan tailors and create systems that can make them own the value chain of their industry.
The knowledge passed on to these tailors must be relevant to the current market needs starting with our Ugandan fashion trends. This is only possible for the existing tailors through up skilling programs to enhance their skills directing them to the market needs and emphasizing specialization in single product rather than knowing many but being a master at none.
NOW WE CAN ALL SEE THE NEED FOR UPSKILLING PROGRAMS AMONG UGANDAN TAILORS ; BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN FED A WRONG MINDSET ABOUT THEIR SKILL AND HAVE NOT BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO MARKET THEMSELVES
The relevancy of these skills passed on is based on the market demands & target market, so if our curriculum of training a tailor is not market based then the tailor ceases to be in business. We have all known tailoring as making clothes but we are still importing clothes, so it’s more of an art with dynamics not a static traditional skill.
This is why as SPARK AFRICA INITIATIVES, we are focusing on creating a solution within ourselves through the TUSP (TAILORS UP SKILLING PROJECT UGANDA); by empowering tailors with advanced and specific skills to be able to work together to form a sustainable production eco system in specific market based production lines like school bags, craft shoes, safari bags, laptop bags etc.
Collectively if each tailor can produce one bag every day, we could create a sustainable tailor’s eco system controlled by local Ugandan tailors hence being relevant in the local production sector.
Tailors are trained a specific type of bag using their own sewing machine at their own workplace or home. Each group of tailors will be assigned a production supervisor according to area of expertise and interest. They will dedicate to produce one bag a day if materials are provided. As they start production with the teams, they are paid a percentage of their labor and are also used as agents to train other tailors in their homes and workplaces. With this done repetitively, we could generate a reasonable income through satisfying the local bags market in Uganda where we no longer import basic personal bags and then we can also think of the international market.
With this we shall also change the people’s mindset about their perspective on tailoring.
We believe the solutions Ugandans are looking for can only be created from within themselves if guided well and fed the relevant skills and knowledge.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
COMPILED BY: AHIMBISIBWE BRANTON
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BAG MAKING E BOOKS AND OUR UPSKILLING PROGRAMS
CALL 0782905808 0753734697 OR EMAIL: email@example.com
The early colonialists introduced the so called formal education with a purpose of extending knowledge and understanding to Africa but indirectly this was part of the master plan for slavery to keep us locked in poverty and low productivity.
Our education system has been used and never updated for the last 40 years, imagine the world has changed, transformed and instead of changing with the changing world, we have instead remained still on this theory based education.
A child starts early education for 3 years studying baby, middle and Top class, they then proceed to primary section where they push for 7 years at an average age of 12, they then go to secondary ordinary level where they study for 4 years, proceeding to advanced level which is an equivalent of college.
Imagine studying a lot of irrelevant subjects and topics that are not related to the real world out here; chemistry, biology, history surprisingly European history, divinity, English, literature and very many others.
At an average age of 19 is when someone is just crossing over to university or any tertiary institutions. This is one of the most productive age of this young man or lady but imagine they proceed to go for more theory teaching at university for at least 3 years and above.
What Happens After University.
After going through this theory education for over 16 years, all you have been trained is to study hard and enter the job market, look for a job and work for someone else.
Obviously we can never have jobs for every graduate, not even 10% of the graduates that enter the job market annually find jobs but they keep piling up every year that comes in.
Over 300000 students get into the job market from over 50 universities and institutions all-over Uganda, where do these graduates all go
There are no jobs for these graduates so looking for jobs becomes their job year in year out.
A graduate can not even start the smallest business that can earn him even 5 dollars a day just because they expect to get a big job and earn millions a month.
Almost everyone in this generation has gone to school, go on the streets and ask the motor bike riders, chapati sellers, vendors name them, these guys all have degrees but failed to get jobs and sop decided to go for quick businesses available.
What Went Wrong?
There is a common saying that education is the key to success, if that’s the case then this must have been applicable many years ago, probably the padlock changed and we still use the old key to open which can no longer work.
We are in a generation where we need more job creators, more entrepreneurs, more innovators and this calls for more practical and relevant skills to achieve.
We instead have more professors of theology, masters and degree holders, theory based teachers and governments, so really we are doomed if we don’t wake up.
Even the so-called vocational and technical institutions which would have provided a solution have lost truck now and also train job seekers in the name of practical skilling.
They are just focused on having more applicants and graduates but not minding after where these people are going and how they can be guided to translate the skills into businesses and production empires.
Skills & Business Incubation, the way to go.
We need more skills and incubation centers that will not just transfer skills but will also empower the skilled with general business principles like business modeling, marketing, branding and many others.
We must ensure that the skilled are mentored, nurtured and have the capacity to produce competitively for the market and start small with whatever they have using their practical skills.
This is why we have decided to start the first of its kind the SPARK SKILLS AND INNOVATION ACADEMY where all Ugandans who wish to become entrepreneurs and job creators will come to learn practical business skills in Agribusiness, Food processing, Art & Fashion, baking and confectionary, Cottage and industrial and Computer skill categories.
Greetings from Spark Africa youth initiatives, the team and the entire management.
We are so honored and pleased to wish you a blessed and fruitful festive season and most importantly Christmas day as we celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.
This day means a lot in every Christians life and its the day God decided to save the world from sin and redeem us as it is said in John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This day brings joy, happiness and hope to all humanity since the savior was born and surely its worth celebrating like 1000 times.
We thank you all for supporting us in all ways, for following the work we do at Spark, for being our clients and partners in all ways
Farming is one of the most sustainable businesses that you can think of adopting since the market for farm products is readily available, imagine we have to eat everyday, so surely the demand is forever.
However farming activities can be a challenging and here we talk about the most common challenges that farmers face in their day to day running of the farms and how they solve them.
7 Major Challenges In Farming And Their likely Solutions?
1. Limited Access to Information and knowledge
Many farmers start without first seeking the right and enough information about the projects they choose to do hence making a lot of avoidable mistakes and losses.
New Farmers need a lot of information right from land preparation, seed selection, varieties, plant spacing and procedure, management basics and a lot of information.
You need to get all the necessary information through:
Attending trainings and workshops
Consulting experts and fellow farmers
Using Google search and YouTube videos
Use of social media groups and pages plus blogs on sites
Buying farming booklets
2. Pests And Diseases Attacks.
This is a very big problem to farmers allover Africa. pests are both in crops and animals, Pests including insects, diseases, weeds and man. These attack crops and animals and reduce on the yield and value.
You need to prevent pests and diseases by ensuring proper agronomic practices like:
Spray in time
Spray the right genuine chemicals
3. Labor And Management Issues
Most new farmers might not have the full time to be at their farms hence it becomes a challenge when the people who are employed don’t know and appreciate exactly what to do.
Most farms that fail in Africa its because of the poor workers they have on ground and less supervision by the farm owner. you must be in charge of your farm.
Employ trusted and technical people
Take your workers for trainings
Supervise your farm regularly at least once a week.
Have a full time manger for your farm
You can think of using prisoners
4. Poor Quality of Inputs
Most input dealers nowadays are focused on just making money and not actually considering effectiveness and quality of the products they give to farmers.
They end up selling fake and expired inputs to farmers like seeds, pesticides and others hence a major challenge to farmers allover Africa.
Buying from only reputable sources and dealers
Buying from the main outlets of Companies like Bukoola or East African seeds
Check the product labels very well before buying
Avoid buying repacked products like fungicides
Consult an expert before buying any product like seeds and chemicals.
5. Climate Change and Unstable Weather
This is a major problem with the climate change effects allover Africa and has greatly affected the farmers in their daily practices. it may seem like an issue beyond our control but we must learn to be productive amidst such unfavorable conditions.
When it shines too much ,it’s a very big problem and sometimes when it over rains it’s a problem. we are having delayed rains and prolonged drought seasons.
Have water available at the farm, at least have a water source like a deep well or dam
Plan for irrigation such that your plants can survive the long droughts
Adopt best agronomic practices like making ridges, water conservation and harvesting
6. Access to Reliable Market
This is one of the most common challenges of farmers in Africa where they cant access reliable and consistent market for their products which also comes along with price fluctuations of most farm products.
This would be number one challenge if you asked farmers. They cant find the market and they are cheated.
However this challenge is sometimes caused by the fact that farmers cant produce consistently to supply the available global demand
Forming and joining groups of farmers for collective production and bargaining.
Taking products to the market directly and avoid middle men.
Doing enough awareness and marketing about our products, this can be done on social media and exibitions and local markets.
Conduct Market research to understand if the enterprise you are doing has ready market in the target area of location.
7. Theft At Farms
This is a common challenge to framers mostly those with fruits and animals like chicken, there is insecurity at the farms and this affects the farmers operations.
We have had very many stories where farms have been attacked and items taken and you can imagine how this would hit hard the struggling farmer.
Having security measures at the farm
Having a spy in your workers
Fencing off your land
Having dogs at the farm
Before you start farming as a business, you must be ready to prevent and control these major challenges that almost every new farmer is likely to face.
Contact us now to guide you professionally how best you can have a successful farm.
Comment with any other challenge that you face at your farm?
Meet Maria Zileni Zaloumis also known as the Zed farmer, a former medical university student from Zambian who turned to a full time commercial farmer and is now estimated at a net worth of about 3 Million dollars from agribusiness.
Bachelor of science degree in Nursing from Australian Catholic University
Masters of science degree in Cardiology from Wesley hospital in Brisbane
She plans on pursuing a Degree in Agronomy since she already has the passion
Maria is the last born in a family of 3 who is also a wife and mother.
In 2003, she travelled to Australia to pursue a Bachelor of science degree in Nursing from Australian Catholic University.
While in Australia, she worked for 12 years as a nurse and also earned her self a Masters degree in Cardiology from Wesley hospital in Brisbane.
She started working when she was 18 and raised $30,000 start up capital through savings.
In 2015, she returned to Zambia from Australia to settle. She found her father ill with an incurable disease called Alzheimer’s disease, a disease that affects the brain functions.
He started farming on a small scale but couldn’t continue farming due to the condition hence the daughter took over and started from scratch.
How Maria Started Tuzini Farms Ltd
In August 2016, Maria took over the farm from the father and started with half a hectare of tomatoes and has expanded to over 13 hectares.
From the 13 hectares she harvests between 250 and 400 boxes everyday giving her approximately daily revenue of $500 (Kr5000) at the lowest price of K50 per box.
Her farm Tuzini Farms LTD, is located in chisamba on the northern side of Lusaka the capital of Zambia.
When she started, she used to selling her tomatoes at Soweto market in Lusaka and has grown to become the major supplier of tomatoes to Freshmark (SHOPRITE) country wide.
She also supplies tomatoes to Ndola’s Masala market , Kitwe’s Chisokone market, which is one of the biggest markets in Zambia and also supplies her tomatoes as far as Kasumbalesa boarder post.
Tuzini Farm produces over 300 boxes of tomatoes per day.
Her farm employs over 70 young and old Zambians and generates a Gross daily income of over $500
How She Gives Back To The Community
On weekends, her workers enjoy the privileges of a literacy program at which many of them are taught how to read and write .
She also supports kids who are under the care of the Mwachikoka Baptist church in Lusaka.
She mentors 20 Youths at Kabwata Methodist Church once a month for free
She employs local youths who are on holidays from school at her farm to keep them busy and have them earn some money as they prepare to open their school
She also provides farmer trainings and facilitates workshops to empower fellow women
Maria recently was invited to the office of the new president of Zambia and had a one on one discussion with the fountain of honor him self. it is believed that she might get a very heavy support from government and also get a special position to serve the nation in development.
Apart from being CEO at Tuzini Farms , she also serves as the 1. Young emerging farmers initiative ambassador 2. African pride insurance Ambassador and 3. National Chairperson for Fruit and Vegetables under ZNFU.
Projects On Her Farm
She won a grant for a green house from MRI seed and has now expanded to build more green houses for the onion,cabbage,tomato seedlings.
She has 4 green houses for onions
She has a pilot project for MRI seed for cabbage and seedlings
She recently launched a new variety of tomato seedling called Naetenella from Israel
She also has beef cows at the farm
she grows many other seasonal crops As well
Major Challenges She Faces
When asked what are some of the major challenges she has faced as a farmer, Maria said the fluctuation in the price of tomatoes is a major challenge.
“Fluctuation in the price of tomatoes has been a major challenge for me as you can not project the income for the coming months”
Another challenge was the water and seasons issue but she is addressing it with irrigation systems at the farm.
The challenge of labour and land Preperation which she has solved by buying her own tractor.
Where She Sees Herself in 5 Years
Venture into farm produce value addition by processing tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes which will be exported to the international market.
Green housing over 50 hectares for growing organic ginger and avocados which will also be exported into the international market
She sees herself impacting and empowering Zambian farmers by establishing an outgrower scheme countrywide for export,which will boost the Zambian economy
She sees herself also reducing through levels of unemployment by empowering and creating over 1000 job opportunities
What Has Helped Her Succeed
She struggles with depression and is on medication. She would like to encourage someone whose depressed, to still believe they can achieve their dreams and impact lives despite the condition.
She attributes all the glory and success which have made her the youngest commercial tomato farmer in the country in less than a year of venturing into the sector to Passion, Hard work and Faith in GOD.
She vividly remembers when she started in August 2016,she committed her plans to God and asked God to help her become the youngest commercial farmer in Zambia.
Her focus was not on making money but making a difference in the lives of many through Agriculture.
What She Advises a Youth Struggling In Africa
Be realistic about your Dreams.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes, learn from your mistakes and look forward.
Remember, to be disciplined and use the resources around you.
Never give up on your dream, Never Quit.
Finally, always develop your self by reading the right books, sharpening your skills and above all investing in your relationship with God”
Personal statement: “Do not wait for opportunities, Create the opportunities. Do everything with Passion or not at all. Work hard dream big. Success depends on the second letter “u” Success is not in the amount of money you make but in the difference you make in people’s lives
The Zed farmer is making a difference in the Agriculture sector not just in her country Zambia but allover Africa, what are you doing in your country?
Tag someone You believe will turn out Successful millionaire in agribusiness come 2023, you can achieve it if you believe and start.
God bless you all as you get inspired to start farming now.
Contact us at Spark Africa to help you start and run a successful farming business with our robust professional services and e-books.
Farming is a serious business, After setting up your farm and managing it well. Now the other important aspect is marketing.
Let’s look at a normal business scenario, imagine you start a business of producing soap, do you just produce your soap and keep it in your mini factory. Not really You must devise means of marketing your soap and ensuring people buy it.
Marketing is the core of every business; otherwise there would be no business without markets. For Every business you see and admire, these guys have invested their time and money in marketing.
Marketing is the process of promoting your products and getting to sell them. Your potential buyers are out there not aware that you have what they need, so its only through marketing that they can get to know and actually buy
Marketing Principles In Farming
1. Market Research
As earlier said, before you start your farming business, make sure you have a marketing plan which shows your target market, how you will get to them and other strategies to sell your products.
Very important to note is that you should only go for a project that you will easily market. Don’t produce chilli that even your neighbors don’t eat.
There are crops that need a specific market like chilli, hot pepper, ginger, Chinese cabbage, broccoli and those that have an open market like tomatoes and onions, things that almost everyone consumes.
So be careful for what crop or project you chose to do. Is it marketable?
2. Target Market
From day one you must specify your target customers. Who do you plan to sell your products to?
Don’t just produce for anyone who will come your way, its not reliable. Don’t wait to first harvest and start looking for market.
Look for the market, not the market to look for you.
Some of the target markets could be:
Restaurants and hotels
Private homes and companies
Friends and neighbors
This helps you to devise means of getting your products to them and set the right strategies of how to achieve this goal.
3. Create Awareness
After understanding your target market, now its time to start the battle of marketing. Awareness is the greatest tool of marketing. You must make sure that your target market knows about your products, let them know and feel your existence. Tell everyone about what you do and what you grow.
Facebook and whatsapp followers
People you meet at workshops and meetings
Move to restaurants and hotels
You must put aside your fear and face the market. I don’t want to promise you like how other people have come up to do that I will get you market. This is your business and you must own it ,you must carry the burden till the destination.
We have given a lot of chance to middlemen to cheat us just because we can’t market our products, we prefer to stay in our gardens and wait for these guys to come with their trucks and give us a very small pay.
I know this might not favor everyone but let’s all try to market our products
Imagine you grew your watermelons, and this middle man comes giving you 500shs per fruit, they don’t know how much money and time you put in to raise those fruits for the last 3 months.
They bring them to the market and sell them at 3000shs each, they make a profit of more that 1500shs, moreover it’s you who bought the seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and put in all your endless efforts and you are just paid 500shs. This person who did nothing to raising this fruits is given 1500shs.
Don’t feel shy about what you do, some people amuse me, you find she’s producing pumpkins but even the closest neighbor doesn’t know, even the husband doesn’t know. How do you expect to get market if you are not proud f what you do?
Be known for what you do, this will position you to opportunities of market. They should start calling you what you do like Mr Pumpkin, Mrs Cabbage and others. I know you will laugh at this statement but try it you will thank me later.
Put your business on your social media platforms like facebook and whatsapp, it should be on your profile picture and statuses.
4. Value Addition
Now you are ready to sell your products to the buyers. You can choose to add value to your farm products. For example if you are growing fruits, you can start making juice out of them
You can also start drying them for mainly export. Do you know you can make over 5 products from pumpkins? You can as well pack them in special packages and deliver to your customers.
Value addition doesn’t necessarily mean processing or having a factory, but even mere cleaning and packing your products is already value addition.
Selling value added products gives you a better pay. Imagine a kilo of maize grains is 600shs from farmers but a kilo of posho is 2500shs.
Farming like any other business needs to be marketed to actually make money out of it. lets wake up from our comfort zones and market our farm products.
Spark Africa was founded in the year 2017 by Ahimbisiwe Allan, a young visionary leader, plant Dr. and Crop specialist.
The goal was to Create access to Agricultural information and professional services to all new farmers and all young entrepreneurs and To set up a Business skills & Innovation hub for all youth and women in Africa.