Mushaukwa Bravo Kabombo is a farmer from Zambia's Western Province who has been growing cassava for many years. But for a long time he struggled with preserving it because he could not afford to buy the necessary equipment. He also wished to grow cassava on a larger scale and make it his a full-time job. Caritas Czech Republic helped Mushaukwa acquire the necessary equipment and supported his efforts to set up his own small business.
Supporting farmers from a developing region
The Western Province, where Mushaukwa lives, is one of Zambia's least developed regions. People in the villages often make a living by growing their own crops, but struggle with low productivity. Moreover, agricultural processing is still underdeveloped in Zambia. Most local farms do not have processing plants to turn harvested crops into marketable products.
Cassava is still mostly processed using traditional methods, i.e. peeling, soaking for fermentation, sun drying and milling into flour, which is not only time consuming but also very labour intensive. In addition, when cassava is processed in this way, there are fewer final products made from it and of lower quality.
Caritas Czech Republic is helping farmers like Mushaukwa in Zambia's Western Province to increase their yields and, more importantly, to process them efficiently. Mushaukwa received cassava processing and storage equipment from us, as well as a start-up grant which enabled him to set up his own processing plant. He has named it Bmuka Source Production and is very happy with it.
"Thank you very much Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia for this support, I never in my life thought I would own a processing plant,” says Mushaukwa with a smile. For Mushaukwa’s processing plant, we also arranged the necessary machinery and equipment as well as the construction of the premises, moreover we have trained the staff and secured the business license. We also supported Mushaukwu with individual mentoring in all steps of his business.
Farmers are fulfilling their dreams thanks to our support
Mushaukwa is one of the farmers we helped to launch his own small-medium enterprise. Starting an agri-business can be hard in most developing countries like Zambia. This is because it requires a lot of money to start that most local farmers cannot afford. Accessing technical solutions and financial and business development services is another serious challenge for the vast majority of local farmers. We help local farmers with all these issues.
Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia is supporting farmers as part of the project “Increasing productivity and supporting the development of mango, cassava and organic fertilizer value chains in Western Province, Zambia’ that started in 2020 and is funded by the Czech Development Agency. Caritas Czech Republic is working on this project in partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, the Czech University of Life Sciences and the University Barotseland.
Interested in more stories like this? Read more:
- Masupanzila: Zambia's women farmers empowering other women
- How Miyombo bought his first cows thanks to Caritas Czech Republic's ‘Saving for Change’ programme
- In Zambia, we involve local farmers to help their own communities