Focus on some African women earning a living through farming
Agribusiness has immense benefit for the economy and for those who take up the challenge to explore the opportunities in the sector. The focus in this edition is on some industrious women in Africa who started small and continue to make progress in the agroindustry in their respective countries or localities.
Here are the names and stories of some of the top five ‘Agripreneurs’.
Ms. Sandra Nabasirye
Ms. Sandra Nabasirye
She is a tomato farmer and Founder of Santex Farm located in Nabbingo, Uganda. ‘Slay Farmer,’ as she is popularly known, is a teacher who obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Makerere University but swapped the chalk for a hoe just less than a year into her profession.
“I decided to quit my job after just six months to pursue my passion. I sought the knowledge and started and that is the wisest decision I have ever made. The money I make out of my farm produce is way above the salary earned by a teacher.
“Agriculture is a hub of wealth, we need to embrace it. The young people need to change their mindset, knowing that one can actually ‘slay’ while earning a living through farming,” she says.
Ms. Bupe Chipili Mulapesi
The Zambian born farmer is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Farm23 Strawberry Zambia’, producers and suppliers of fresh strawberry fruit, pure strawberry jam and ready to plant strawberry seedlings.
She started her own strawberry farm after being inspired and mentored by another female strawberry farmer in Australia and she has proven to be a force to reckon with in the fruit farming industry in Zambia. Mulapesi started with only 20 plants and had since grown to a large plantation of 40,000 strawberry plants, with prospects of increasing to a maximum of 300,000 plants within the next two years.
She says the company aims to supply “high quality strawberry fruit which is affordable and easily accessible to the market” as imported strawberry fruit came at a high cost.
According to her, the goal is to “satisfy both the local and international markets with the best quality of strawberry fruit in terms of taste and a long shelf life.”
Ms. Sne Ngubane
This inspirational poultry farmer is the Founder and CEO of Sne Poultry Farm located in Manguzi, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
She supplies chickens and eggs to businesses, vendors, communities and schools. The poultry farm started in 2017 after she saw a gap in the market and she has never looked back. She advises aspiring farmers “not do it only for the money but do it for the love,” stressing that they need to start regardless of their circumstances.
Ms. Kgomotso Ramatlo
As founder of PKR Farming & Services in Brakpan, South Africa, her farm produce include tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chillies, spinach, cabbage, beetroot, green beans and onions.
She has five permanent employees and ploughs a five-hectare farm. In December 2020, severe hailstorms damaged her infrastructure and farm produce. This could have easily made her to give up on farming but, against all odds, she never gave up and continued to make her way to the top.
“Chilies are like one of my beautiful things at the moment and I need to explore other kinds. I see myself as a fully-fledged commercial chillies farmer where I would be able to get enough structures to be able to produce all year round,” she says.
Ms. Maanda Elizabeth Sianga
She is the Founder of Agro Queens Trading, a mixed farming entity of aquaculture, poultry, livestock, crops and fresh vegetables.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture from Mulungushi University, Zambia.
She said her main interest while in high school was to study Medicine but a school trip changed her perception of agriculture. Subsequently, she decided to put more effort in knowing more about farming on holidays. The ‘Young Farmer’ as she is popularly known has trained over 1,000 people in various agricultural skills such as project management.
By Spectator Reporter