Nthanda's Integrated Farm
Explain your idea in details:
The main idea is to operate an integrated farm which will combine rare poultry, fish, fruit and vegetable production. The farm will have a hatchery for poultry and fish, tree nurseries, and vegetable gardens. I have chosen these because production is minimal in Malawi and it can be a profitable enterprise if invested in. 20% of the poultry and fruit trees will be distributed to the youth in the neighboring communities for them to raise and earn a living, 60% will be sold off to generate income and 20% will be raised on the farm. Vegetables will mostly be sold off to hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. A youth cooperatives will be formed to where they will learn production and marketing. Start-up capital, in terms of inputs will be provided. The main objective is contribute to the economic growth of Malawi by specifically providing decent employment to the youth in the community, imparting knowledge to the youth to establish their own enterprises, contributing to food security of the communities, improving nutrition status of children in the communities, minimizing imports and maximizing export of the products to be produced at the farm. The main activities will be designing the layout of the farm (land already acquired), construction of poultry shades, construction of greenhouses, construction of staff houses, construction of fish ponds, borehole drilling, procurement and installation of solar power system, incubators, livestock, fish fingerlings, seeds and start-up feed for fish and livestock. Subsequently, the farm will be able to sustain its own production of feed, livestock seed, fish fingerlings and propagation of fruit trees. These will be sold, raised on the farm and some distributed to youth in communities around the farm to enable them be economically sustainable and with good nutrition and health.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The impact of the idea is contribution towards Sustainable Development Goal #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger,#3 Good Health and Well-Being and #8-Decent Work and Economic Growth. With the engagement of youths on the farm and through their own small enterprises, unemployment and poverty levels will drastically be reduced as income is enhanced. 65% of the population of the Malawi are youths, and if youth are empowered the nation in return is empowered. Major outcomes are to increase number of youths involved in farming and agribusiness in the area from 12 (quick baseline survey I conducted) to 50 (50% women) by year 2020; increase in household income from annual average of US$ 320 to US$1000 by year 2020. The main outputs include annual production of i) chickens -2000, ii) ducks - 500, iii) Guinea fowl - 500, iv) Quails - 3000, v) pigeons - 3000, vi) Turkey - 200, vii) fish fingerlings -5000, viii) propagated fruit seedlings -150,000, ix) indigenous trees -100,000, x) vegetables 1500kgs by the year 2020.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Currently 26.5 acres of land has been secured in Mchinji, Central Malawi and a 1 ton pick up to help ferry materials and produce. Low cost but decent housing for workers and poultry using locally available materials will be built. Next will be the erection of shades for the tree nurseries and greenhouses as well as excavation of fish ponds. These activities will be occurring while procurement of necessary equipment for the poultry housing, greenhouses and fish ponds is also happening. Procurement of inputs, poultry eggs, fish fingerlings, vegetable and tree seeds as well as propagated fruit seedlings will be the last. The produce from the farm will be: day-old and grown local chickens, ducks, turkey, guinea fowl and quails, fish and fish fingerlings, herbs and spices (rocket, parsley, mint, garlic, ginger, chillies, and paprika) which are rarely found on the market. Tree seedlings (fruit and indigenous) will be produced and sold. The targeted customers include Government Departments, NGOs who are implementing livelihoods projects, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets. With customers/markets already available, it will be a matter of getting in touch with them, explain the products we can offer, listen to their needs and agree the terms. Other customers advertise in local newspapers their needs, which we can respond to. Revenue for the farm will be generated through sales of these products. I expect a profit margin of 20-25% in the first 2 years which could rise to 35%. Currently financing of the enterprise is through personal savings from current job as well as a small enterprise I own which supplies goods and services to NGOs, Government Departments and Institutions. Having access to loans is chaos in Malawi thats why use of personal savings was opted to financing the enterprise through savings.
I am a young man, 31 years of age. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Irrigation Engineering from Bunda College of agriculture of the University of Malawi now (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources) in August 2009. Ever since I have been working in Government as an Irrigation Engineer implementing irrigation projects throughout Malawi. During my college years, I did a project on the integration of Livestock production, Aquaculture and Vegetable Production as part of my course work. The project yielded excellent results, however, up-scaling of student projects in Malawi is a problem as mostly a) finances are a problem and b) students are not taken as innovative enough to contribute solutions to the problems affecting the country. This gave me the drive to have the project implemented on a larger scale for others to copy and replicate. In my years working with farmers, I have realized that farming in Malawi is about subsistence farming in the rural areas. Despite several trainings and interventions towards the farmers to change their mindset and take farming as a business, farmers still cling to farming for food security. There are several opportunities in the country for commercial rare livestock, vegetable and fish production. With high unemployment rates among the youths, the idea of the project will help the rural youth farmers to open their eyes and embrace the culture of commercial farming and attain self-reliance and creation of employment. The idea will help fellow youths in Malawian to develop in all aspects of life by using the readily available natural resources in Malawi, land and water.