“WHAT’S gets me up in the morning is having that picture of a five-year-old child who has been malnourished at some point, but because of my teaching, or whatever it is that we have shared with them, is getting better and stronger day by day and that pushes me to keep going and doing my job,” says First Quantum Minerals’ Kansanshi Foundation community nutrition assistant, Lingiwe Sibanda, a woman on a mission to help local farmers integrate nutrition for sustained improvements in food consumption and improved nutrition at the household level.
“The highlight of my time here so far has been seeing the smiles on the faces of the women we meet in the communities when we go to tell them about the importance of good nutrition. And it is the fulfilment that I get when I know that someone’s life has changed in one way or the other after talking to them.”
She said that the mining firm believes that improving nutrition should be at the centre of all agricultural programmes and policies while promoting current and well-designed nutrition education in the agriculture sector.
“We are teaching farmers some of the health benefits of consuming the food they grow. And in 2019, the Foundation surveyed to establish community needs that showed stunting levels among children below the age of five were high.
“The survey gave us a direction to take considering what to address where these communities are concerned. Our major aim is dealing with stunting, which is as a result of improper feeding of children,” Sibanda continued.
She finds that one of the major challenges that come with the job is the attitude of some community members, who find it hard to believe that beans have as much protein as meat.
“But I think change is a process, and we have to be persistent; we have to continue doing it until someone, somewhere understands the importance of growing healthy foods. But I think we are getting there, one day at a time.”
“Whatever they are growing at the moment is healthy, and we are encouraging them to consume what they are growing. And we are encouraging them to grow vegetables as well. We want to see a situation where each house at least has a kitchen garden, and this kitchen garden should include green leafy vegetables, diverse types of crops especially the vitamin-A rich crops like the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, the orange. And we are encouraging them to consume more of the food they grow,” she narrated.
It was her passion for nutrition that and the desire to see healthy children, that led her to apply for the position of community nutrition assistant when the mining firm advertised the position.
“In 2018, in September I joined FQM’s Kansanshi Foundation under the Nutrition Programme as a community nutrition assistant. And it was my love for children that has led me here today. Seeing a child who is not well or malnourished breaks my heart. And when I was told that I can work in this department as somebody who goes round in the communities teaching mothers how they can feed their children better, I was excited, I looked forward and without hesitation, I took the job.”
At only 26 years of age, Ms Sibanda has become a household name in communities surrounding FQM’s Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi District of North-Western Province.
“I was born in 1994 in Sinazongwe in Southern Province, and my parents are both teachers. I did my primary education at Batoka Basic School in Southern Province, before later going to do my secondary education at Matauka High School in Senganga District of Western Province.”
After completing high school, she did a diploma in social work at NIPA from 2011 to 2013. She then joined Habitat for Humanity, which looks at poverty eradication and housing where she worked as a data entry clerk for three years.
”In her free time, she studies; she is a second-year student at Cavendish University studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
“If I were to describe myself in three words I would say I am enthusiastic, goal-oriented and hardworking. And in the next five to ten years, I see myself as a successful farmer, growing healthy food, feeding my fellow community members. As long as our communities are well-fed, as long as our communities are given healthy food, I am ok with that.” she concluded.
One reason she has created a good relationship with the community members is good work ethics, she added.
“Part of my ethics is going that extra mile to ensure my work in the communities is done and I have gotten through to the people in ensuring they live healthier lives. And working with multinationals has also helped me a lot. I get a lot of mentorship from my supervisor, which has opened my mind to a lot of ideas and how to do things.”
Source: LANGMEAD & BAKER
Meet Ms. Elizabeth Swai, she is the founder of AKM Glitters Company Limited dealing with Integrated Poultry business
Meet Ms. Elizabeth Swai, she is the founder of AKM Glitters Company Limited dealing with Integrated Poultry business managing three Kuroiler breeder farms, a hatchery, and an animal feed mill.
WORK EXPERIENCE – 15 years with UNHCR and UNWFP
ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION – Human Development and Entrepreneurship
HER PASSION – Her passion as a social entrepreneur is inclusive development that touches the lives of the society in particular women and the youth
HER DREAM – to multiply in Africa and address nutritional issues, development of profitable franchises led by women and youth in Africa.
AWARDS – Change Driver Award, Impact Award, Women of Achievement in Agribusiness award and Malkia wa Nguvu 2019 and First time in Tanzania the Agriculture Award 2019
Ms Swai is a Founder Member of African Agribusiness Academy, Africa Women in Agribusiness, a member of Professional Poultry Association, Feed Mill Association and a Chair of Poultry Breeders Association, Executive Board Member Tanzania Business Council – Livestock Sector and Executive Board Member Bill and Melinda Gates Tanzania.
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Zambian Mission in Saudi Arabia holds virtual meeting on Agriculture
Zambia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Mumba has said the forthcoming Meet the Farmers Virtual Summit presents a good opportunity for Zambia to forge partnerships and enhance further the agriculture sector.
Ambassador Mumba said Saudi Arabia presents a great avenue for players in the agriculture sector to draw lessons from best practices and create synergies to ensure development.
The Ambassador made the remarks during a virtual meeting between the Embassy and the organisers of the Meet the Farmers Virtual Summit, which is scheduled for 25th to 27th August, 2020. The virtual summit will be held under the theme Innovation. Agriculture. Future. and it is aimed at linking farmers to the suppliers, markets, industry professionals and regulators.
Ambassador Mumba highlighted the opportunities that could be explored in Saudi Arabia and hoped that the summit would contribute towards creating synergies in the agriculture sector.
The meeting discussed potential sector markets for the farmers, viable options and the need to ensure the participation of key players in the sector Zambia and Saudi Arabia.
The meeting resolved to have a segment during the summit to discuss the available market and financing options in Saudi Arabia as well as the possibility of twinning farmers.
The platform will link farmers and various input suppliers in Zambia and the region, while giving farmers an opportunity to gain information on current trends and technologies that are practiced in the agriculture sector.
The Government of Zambia launched the Meet the Farmers Virtual Summit, an online conference designed to bring agricultural players on one virtual platform.
During the launch, Minister of Agriculture Hon. Michael Katambo said the summit is vital in boosting understanding of modern agriculture practices and technologies to improve productivity.
Considering that this year’s agriculture and commercial show has been cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic, Hon. Katambo said the summit will compliment Government policy in facilitating access to markets for farmers.
Embassy of Zambia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Meet the farmers Zambia will give farmers an opportunity to interact with various Agri-businesses and associations in the country and in Africa. Get information on current trends and technologies that are being practiced in the agriculture sector.
Thus being in line and complementing the government’s policy to facilitate access to markets for all farmers in the country.
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