Anita Mweemba – an inspiration
When I met Anita recently on her farm in Kafue, Zambia – I was rather star-struck. The short film interview with Anita that IDE made last year has been a real hit. When shown at a recent fundraising event in Canada the audience applauded it – unusual for a 2 minute film… See the film here (Anita comes half way through) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eBGAkLsA5Q
However, I soon warmed to her charm and immense enthusiasm for farming. Anita described her increasingly profitable journey in smallholder farming ‘we used to just have a small kitchen garden, using a bucket. After IDE came and showed us the benefits of irrigation we realised that farming is a business and can make lots of money’.
In the last few years since she first purchased a treadle pump she is now earning over $700 a season from her irrigated vegetables, and her total farm income (including a new seed multiplication business) to over $2200. True to her businesslike approach Anita has continued to invest in her business ‘we never used that money – but have a problem transporting produce the 14km to the nearest market – so we bought a second hand car’
Anita is also a great demonstration of the power of the mobile phone. Throughout our discussion she took a number of calls on her mobile, she explained that the phone enabled her to ‘get the latest market prices, and if someone wants tomatoes they just give a call and I send my boys with a couple of crates’.
Now not only is Anita getting worldwide fame – but she is spreading her learning and experience about irrigated farming to her neighbour farmers. She often hosts demonstration days on her farm to show others how to also achieve the same success.