Misheck Munyamani reaps Agriculture Diversification benefit …as Corteva Agriscience Zambia Holding Company of Panner Seed and Pioneer Seed courts Zambian media
Misheck Munyamani reaps
Agriculture Diversification benefit
…as Corteva Agriscience Zambia Holding Company of Panner Seed and Pioneer Seed courts Zambian media
By Ashton Kelly Bunda and Derrick Sinjela
THEY say life begins at 40, but with just a year before he attains that age threshold, Misheck Munyamani a farmer of Mulela village in Shibuyunji District of Central Province is already enjoying his life.
And closing a Monday 10th – Tuesday 11th August 2020 Media Training hosted in collaboration with the National Agriculture Information Services (NAIS) at Lusaka’s Hilton Hotel on Cairo Road,
Corteva Agriscience Zambia Holding Company of Panner Seed and Pioneer Seed Managing Director Samson Nyendwa brags that agriculture is more profitably sustainable than minerals – copper to be specific.
The Corteva Agriscience Media Training was opened by Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zgambo with a prod for increased coverage of Zambia’s agricultural sector.
Since President Edgar Chagwa Lungu swore him as Agriculture Permanent Secretary (PS), on Friday 25th January 2019, Songowayo Zgambo formerly Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Chief Executive Officer has reiterated Government desire pegging agriculture as a diversification and job creation springboard as articulated in the five pillars of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
Mr. Munyamani’s journey to success is a unique one as the magnitude of his excellence in Agriculture business is mainly attained by the aged who in most cases are retirees.
Born and bred in Mulela village, within Senior Chief Shakumbila area, Mr. Munyamani’s name is now a household one in the area, as his livestock and crop enterprise is feeding and creating sustainable incomes for people.
A father of 15 children from two wives, Mr. Munyamani has over 300 cattle, 120 hectares of tomatoes, 70 hacters of fresh maize, an active fish pond, countless number of small livestock,a hammer mill and mechanised farming activities.
According to Mr. Munyamani, he started as a small farmer in 2000, with only 25 lines of tomatoes containing 7,000 plants whose first yields gave him the motivation to expand his production and able to diversify his agricultural activities.
A visit to one of the Munyamani Farms, found the farmer’s first wife Margaret attending to scores of women who troop from Lusaka, a one and a half hour drive to Mulela village to order the fresh maize for reselling in the capital city.
35-year-old Margaret, explained that hard work and working collaboratively with her husband is the reason behind their success in the agriculture sector and that apart from the present activities going on at their two farms which are just a few meters apart, they look to embark on producing many more crops; watermelon and pumpkins to name but two.
At the time Margaret was supervising the winter maize farm, Mr. Munyamani was at the other farm overseeing the performance or operation of a group of 34 farm workers, as they harvested tomatoes in readiness for sale the next day in Lusaka.
Mr. Munyamani explained that he has been able to survive teething challenges encountered in his farming business due to the diversification policy he has adopted, as it is disastrous for one to put all eggs in one basket.
Munyamani says sometimes when one area of production is performing poorly, he gets money earned from other profitable ventures to boost the affected section in his enterprise.
18-year-old Sipiwe Munyamani is Mr. Munyamani’s daughter and his already in tune with the agriculture enterprise at her parents farm and helps in either looking at the huge hectarage of either maize and tomatoes as well as livestock at the farm.
Like father and mother, Ms. Sipiwe Munyamani would rather remain at the farm than in a glittering city where her father owns a number of houses, plans to study agriculture having completed school last year, once learning opens at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Road campus.
As for Mr. Munyama, his next plan is to procure a centre pivot as he plans expand his production just as the tomatoe field is powered by electric generation.
According to Corteva Agriscience Zambia Holding Company of Panner Seed and Pioneer Seed Managing Director Samson Nyendwa agriculture is more profitably sustainable than minerals – copper to be specific. Closing a Media Training hosted in collaboration with National Agriculture Information Services (NAIS) at Lusaka’s Hilton Hotel on Cairo Road, Mr. Nyendwa implored electronic and print journalist to change mindset of people through focus on agriculture as a sustainable development narrative. As a giant in supplying Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, Mr Nyendwa pledged to incentivise journalists and media house that stand tall in disseminating agriscence information. “We are going to cutely and handsomely reward journalists and media houses that effectively report on the seed and overall agro issues,” said Nyendwa at a close of a two-day media training officially opened by Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zgambo on Monday 10th August 2020.
In the 2020 farming season Zambia is projected to produce 20, 000 metric tonnes of maize seed, out if which 8,000 tonnes of maize seed will be accessed by local farmers. The remainder at 12, 000 metric tonnes of maize seed will be exported to Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
In July 2019, Corteva Agriscience, a United States based agriculture company, officially launched its operation in Zambia as it seeks to expand into the African agriculture sector.
Corteva, supplies crop protection technologies and seeds under the brand Panner and Pioneer, said that the move seeks to support Zambia’s ambitions of becoming a regional hub for agricultural innovation.
Speaking at the July 2019 launch, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) President Jervis Zimba said that the company’s presence in Zambia will enable to improve productivity of farmers.
Mr. Zimba described the production landscape in Zambia as dynamic reflected by the persistent strive by farmers to respond to many factors such as dealing with the effects of climate change, enhancing productivity and embracing diversification.
Mr. Zimba said there is an abundant desire for seed technologies among the farmers and hailed the efforts being made by big companies such as Corteva Agriscience.
A month after its official listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Corteva Agriscience’s official launch in Zambia presented a platform for the company to strengthen its footprint in the agriculture sector.
The company reiterated its commitment to backing the government’s efforts of ensuring national food security, and outlined its vision to extend that goal to the wider regional Eastern and Southern Africa region.
The Zambian government led by Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Vice President Inonge Mutukwa-Wina and Agriculture Minister, Michael Katambo has highlighted the need for significant change in agriculture to meet rising food demand.
The company’s launch in the market also signals a strong commitment to Zambia’s agriculture development and underpins Corteva’s support for the country’s food security goals.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) aimed at promoting farmers access to knowledge on improved conservation farming methods.
Joseph Anampiu, Commercial Unit Leader, Corteva Agriscience, East Africa says, “Corteva’s presence in Zambia is to ultimately provide support to Zambian farmers – using their strong value proposition of an integrated seed, crop protection and technology offering to enhance operations and improve farming productivity.”
Corteva, equally launched in Nigeria in early 2019, has in the recent past been consolidating its stake in Africa’s agriculture sector marked by the aggressive expansion across several economies in the continent.
The company has also entered into an agreement with US manufacturer of agricultural equipment, John Deere, with an aim of accelerating growth in Africa’s agricultural sector.
Corteva has also entered into partnerships with several companies and institutions across Africa including,Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Ethiopia, Flour Mills of Nigeria and Zimbabwe’s valley seeds all aimed at bolstering growth in the agriculture sector.
And in a related matter at hand, Derrick Sinjela and Nakamba Mwinji, both journalists and members of the Zambian Developmental Media Alliance (ZADEMA) write that Zambia launched Volume One of the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) (2017-2021), as a building block that will spur progress to meet the goals contained in Vision 2030.
The 7th National Development Plan (2017-2021) (7NDP) builds on the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (2013-2016).
The new plan represents the Government’s first concerted effort to move away from sectoral-based planning towards an integrated and multi-sectoral approach, that embeds and encapsulates SDGs and their indicators.
The broad theme of the plan is “Accelerating development efforts towards Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind” with the primary goal of “Creating a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and socio-economic transformation, driven by, among other things, by agriculture.”
Using an integrated approach, the 7NDP has domesticated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) African Union Agenda 2063, as well as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan.
There are 5 pillars or strategic development areas contained within the plan including:
1-Economic diversification & job creation
2-Poverty & vulnerability reduction
3- Reducing developmental inequalities
4- Enhancingh human development
5- Creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified economy
These pillars are buttressed by development outcomes, strategies, and programmes, with key performance indicators, linked to the SDGs.
The Zambian Children Young People and Women in Development (ZCYPWD) is equally increasing youth and female voices on Radio, Television, Print and New Media and Community Engagement.
“This is to highlight and increase the face of children, young people and women in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), Vision 2030 and the African Union Vision 2063.
Zambia is confronted with with major challenges; high poverty, high unemployment and high income inequality. Let us increase investment in education and experience through increasing learning opportunities for Children Young People Women and Men. This can be achieved by doing a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the three highlighted challenges as a means to achieve goals and aspirations of Zambia becoming a middle income country by 2030, which is 10 years to come,” says Hone Liwanga Siame, a journalist by profession.
The 7NDP identifies 5 Strategic Development Areas or Pillars: Economic Diversification and Job Creation.
Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction.
Reducing Developmental Inequalities.
Enhancing Human Development.
Creating a conducive governance environment for diversified and inclusive growth.