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Mixed veggies farming for self-employment

By JOHN CHOLA

Chuba Kamanga, 45, is a small-scale farmer currently growing green maize, egg plants and tomatoes on a rented piece of land in Kimakolwe area of Solwezi.

He also has experience in growing green paper, beetroot, turnip, mastered spinach, onion, and broccoli.

The green maize project is on a one-and-a-half lima piece of land and is expected to generate income of about K5,000 when harvest time comes in October this year.

The maize will be sold at Kyawama market at wholesale price, where 10 cobs will be sold for K15.

On the other hand, egg plants would be transplanted in phases, and once seedlings on the nursery bed are ready, the actual transplanting would be done during the third week of August and fruits sold early December, 2021.

This would also be done on a one lima piece of land.

Recently, Kamanaga informed a Fortune World Investments mentoring team that visited him that he ventured in eggplant business as it was lucrative, and with good management, harvesting from his cultivated portion so far would go on for a period of three months.

FWIL Managing Director, Mukumbi Kafuta says Kamanga expects proceeds from the eggplant project to be over K10, 00.

Kamanga is one of the thousands of Solwezi residents FWIL has trained in entrepreneurship with support from Kansanshi Mining Plc.

Kafuta said prior to recruiting for the training programme, Kamanga had problems with financial management and lacked ability to plan for his farm, thereby doing farming as a tradition.

“He recruited for the training in November 2019 and since then, has learnt the art of planning for his farm. He plans for inputs which are recorded in a stock book, and he writes down money deposited in his mobile money account. Previously, he kept money at home and did not have a system to record and monitor growth. Now he has about K7,000 in his mobile money account,” narrates Kafuta.

Kamanga once worked for SeedCo in Chisamba, and has experience in seed making.

According to Kafuta, Kamanga’s medium term plans are to buy and relocate to a bigger piece of land and set up an irrigation system.

Kamanga further envisages to enhance mixed farming activities with emphasis on high value, crops such as English vegetables which include broccoli and beetroot.

Kamanga informed Kafuta during a mentoring visit recently that one 50 kilogramme bag of broccoli earned him about K2,000 when he supplied one of the local hotels in the recent past.

Kafuta adds that Kamanga’s Beetroot business was also lucrative and would he would grow for the begging Copperbelt market where demand for the product remains appetising.

The mentoring team advised Kamanga to take advantage of his skill by going into seed making and supply as a business.

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