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Inspiring stories of youths in agric
Kusimo Idris Olalekan is a Final Year Student of FUTA, Akure, Nigeria.
Training at Songhai – SONGHAI Farms, Benin Republic, was like a dream in the heart having heard much about this centre with the great influence it has expanded along the coastal countries of West Africa. Going to Songhai was a turning point that has led to a drastic change in my moral, academic and basic human relation.
The training which lasted for six months drilled both mind and soul of each student that participated in the training. Each section has a powerful influence because the productivity and sustainability cannot be over simplified. My level of reasoning changed from a two dimensional way which it was in school to a multi dimension enterprise.
I learnt a lot about aquaculture, renewable energy (biogas production), feed mill, agro –processing, poultry and market gardening.
The life and dedication of the Director Reverend G. Nzamujo inspired me to become a determined person having seen and heard the history of the Songhai centre, the creed of this centre which says “STAND UP AFRICA” was a motto I created on the tempest of my heart each day I go to work
In summary, I went to the Songhai centre and I can say confidently to Africa and the entire world that I conquered!
I will also like to use this medium to tell the entire youths of this federation that hard work, determination and dedication should be enacted in any thing we do for Africa to rise to this full meaning of its creed, we youths must be ready to take the mantle.
FROM KENYA - 75% of Kenyan population directly depends on small scale farming for their livelihood in the rural areas. The farming individuals are commonly elderly people between the ages of 45-65 years. However, Geoffrey Mwamba has defied the common thinking of most Kenyans about agriculture. At the age of 27 years, he is a proud owner of small scale tomato farming business which he has named Ever Blazing farm, on 0.1ha or 1/4 acre of land.
Geoffrey Mwamba practices agriculture with a difference employing youthful energy, enthusiasm and Knowledge attained from an agricultural training institution and business studies, to develop his agriculture business. Mwamba markets his tomatoes in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and its environs, and the demand for his produce is so overwhelming that he recently started recruiting collaborators to grow tomatoes and capsicums for him. Mwamba extensively uses his mobile phone to send information to his customers and receive orders for his farming produce which greatly contributes to the expansion of his farming business. He also orders unique seeds which are not available in the local stores through the Internet, giving him comparative advantage in the bussiness. Geoffrey Mwamba has no regrets and earns a decent living with current gross earning amounting over KSH 120,000 per month from his tomato farming business. Mwamba attributes his success to determination, commitment, hard work, availability of a shallow well which belongs to his grandfather; encouragement and support from his parents and siblings.
. Etagegnehu Bekele is a 21 year old youth who lives with her parents and four other children. She and other youths in her community were beneficiary of a project group. Etagegnehu’s family was reluctant at the beginning to allow her to be a member of the youth group, especially to take the inputs provided by the project (sheep and beehive) on credit, because they were afraid of the risk of failure. They couldn’t trust that she would succeed in her work so they refused to let her join the group. It was after extended arguments that she was given permission to join. Etagegnehu’s family allocated land for her where she started with apple and vegetable crop productions. After three years, she started collecting apple fruits, she harvests up to 500 apple fruits twice a year.
Using a micro irrigation, she planted and harvested onion for seven years. Since 2008 up to date, she has been collecting 80-100 kgs of honey every year per beehive. Etagegnehu is now attending her diploma school, supporting her family and paying her brother’s college fee. With the extra money she earned she further rented in land from other farmers and grows grain crops.