The Story Of Gwanda Chibambo

Gwanda Chibambo from Hora EPA in Mzimba District was a promising student until he was forced to drop out of Form Two at the then Mzalangwe District Education Centre (schools which were later upgraded to Community Day Secondary Schools) when his father passed away same year. Now 39, married with two boys aged five and eighteen he can finally afford a smile as the SALFP gave him and his family a new lease of life. He was selected as a Lead Farmer and trained by Find Your Feet in 2014. Immediately after his training he started practicing conservation agriculture in his garden. Though livestock eventually ate the mulch, he was not to be discouraged. He made manure and planted maize on 0.8 ha from which he had harvested a measly 11 bags earlier in the year from the previous rainy season.
More misery was to follow in 2015 when the maize crop had dried up in most of the fellow farmers’ gardens. He was pleasantly surprised when he harvested 32 bags from the same piece of land. He was, by this time, a member of Katambalala Club that comprises 20 members (13 women and 7 men). He had also grown soya on 0.4 ha from which he got 7 bags and sold collectively. Katambalala Club was the first group to ever sell commodities collectively in the SALFP. The SALFP Field Officer advised him to increase the area on which he was growing the soya as he had some land that was idle (a total of 4 ha), and he followed this advice by planting the crop on 0.9 ha. This yielded 14 bags which he sold again collectively and earned K223, 200.
He used the proceeds to acquire roofing material, both wood and iron sheets for his already existing grass-thatched house. “I had never lived in a house that did not have grass thatch for a roof,” Gwanda narrates his story. He and his wife also bought household items and clothes among other relevant things. Their diet improved as they could afford to buy meat products and other healthy foodstuffs for their consumption. They opened a mini grocery store in which they invested K48, 000.
Meanwhile, the grocery business grew from proceeds from soya and profits that were reinvested in it. Some of these profits were also used for funding the actual roofing of their house. He then started to trade in livestock and realized that this was a far more rewarding exercise than the shop and he did not hesitate to realign his priorities. The shop was shut down and the money invested in livestock.
In 2018, he made K87,500 after selling 7 bags of soya and from this he bought 3 goats and saved up some money. He also harvested 24 bags of maize in spite of the drought and intermittent rains. This year (2018) his group led their own marketing drive, found a market where they sold their soya without the aid of any organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *