In 2012, John Kabiya joined Mbomba Cooperative in Ntchisi. When he joined the Cooperative, Mr Kabiya’s financial status was not good. He was struggling to feed his family, pay school tuition for his 2 children and provide other basic needs for his family.
During an interview conducted earlier in 2020, John explained that his main problem was lack of good seed and good markets, which in turn made his efforts as a farmer futile. “I am a hardworking and focused farmer but it has been a tough journey for me since l do not have the necessary tools to harvest better yields. In addition, after the harvest, l have not been able to find good markets for my produce. If l could have access to better seeds and a good market, l think l can do better” said Mr Kabiya to the ACE Rural Marketing Advisor in Ntchisi, Vincent Banda.
During the 2019-2020 farming season, Mr Kabiya received a loan of soya certified seed through the Chithumba Model. The Chithumba Model gives Farmer Organisations access to certified seed as a loan to be repaid as seed at a ratio of 1:5. ACE then provides further support by offering farmers assistance to find a good market for any surplus crop they have produced.
After repaying his loan to ACE, Mr Kabiya had 5,000 kgs of surplus soya. With the assistance of the Rural Marketing Advisor in Ntchisi, he was able to access a market where he sold his surplus soya at 300MWK/kg, whilst most markets were selling at 250MWK/kg. This came as a nice surprise to the farmer, because since he started farming, he had never had access to an opportunity of this sort. Mr Kabiuya was able to sell his soya for 1,500,000mwk, as opposed to the 1,250,000mwk which he would have made on the prevailing markets.
John Kabiya’s life has now changed. With his earnings, he bought a piece of land where he has started building a good house, and he will be able to pay school fees for his two children at Malomo secondary school. He has also bought himself a motorbike. The farmer is looking forward to work with ACE in the coming years, and described ACE as a life changing institution.
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