Bulawayo farmer with the Midas touch transforms idle land

27 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Bulawayo farmer with the Midas  touch transforms idle land

The Chronicle

Flora Fadzai Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter

LIKE the famous King Midas, popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold, Bulawayo farmer Mr Mcendisi Ndlovu (30) of Kingsdale suburb believes whatever he touches turns green.

Mr Ndlovu has transformed a piece of land which was lying idle into a thriving horticulture project.
With enthusiasm and an open mind, the youthful farmer who is into backyard farming, represents a crop of young farmers, who are defining the success story of farming, thereby contributing significantly to food security for the nation.

Mr Ndlovu, who operates from a rented piece of land, has managed to develop                                      concrete skills in order to be successful in horticulture.

At the moment, he has planted carrots, beetroot and cabbages.

Mr Ndlovu is a graduate from Esigodini Agricultural College. Soon after graduating in 2018, he tried his hand at farming without success due to lack of capital.

He then looked for a job and briefly worked as a manager at a local farm before he quit and joined a local non-governmental organisation where he worked until last year.

“I worked for ORAP until 2021 and used part of the money I had saved as start-up capital for my own project. Since I ventured into farming I have no regrets,” said Mr Ndlovu.

“I have always wanted to do farming. Funny enough no one in my family was interested in farming.
“I remember as a boy, my parents would reprimand me for playing a farmer in the dust since I am asthmatic.”

However, this did not stop him from pursuing his dream of being farmer. After completing high school, Mr Ndlovu he decided to pursue his childhood dream by enrolling for an agriculture course at Esigodini Agricultural College.

“After finishing my high school at Nyanda High School, I decided to go and study agriculture at diploma level.

“After graduating, I looked for a job at a local farm and in no time, was promoted to manager,” he said.
After working for about three years, he decided to use his savings to venture into his own farming enterprise.

Mr Ndlovu, who stays in Emakhandeni suburb, said he decided to rent a bigger space, which was lying idle in Kingsdale.

Mr Mncedisi Ndlovu a self-employed backyard farmer and his workers reaping carrots yesterday at his plot in Kingsdale suburb (Pictures by Maita Zizhou)

“Being a horticulture farmer requires a lot of patience and understand how to nurture the crops. Too much of anything can ruin the crop so one needs to be extra cautious when dealing with them,” he said.

When he started renting the land in February, Mr Ndlovu said some people, including                          family members were a bit sceptical thinking he would not be able to manage the project.

“Carrots have been my cash crop since the beginning. I recently planted cabbages to add variety. I started with half an acre of land before adding another acre and everything is going on well,” he said.

Mr Ndlovu sunk a borehole near his backyard farm and uses drip irrigation system to water his crops.
“Farming requires commitment and hard work despite challenges involved in it. For instance, getting a stable market is difficult since I am still new in the field, but I am optimistic that everything will go according to my plan,” he said.–@flora_sibanda

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