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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 19:49

Agriculture Cashflow Training: Farmers encouraged to take farming as a business

Written by  Sylvester Kumwenda
Mhango - farmers should know the input and project outputs for their business - Pic courtesy of Stella Mhango Mhango - farmers should know the input and project outputs for their business - Pic courtesy of Stella Mhango

Lilongwe, February 7, 2018: Malawians engaged in all scales of farming need to take farming as a business for them to profit more in their investments and become big agro business people or commercial farmers, Stellar Mhango, a business consultant has said.

Mhango, who together with another farming consultant, Owen Mwalwanda, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) Wednesday,  ahead of the Free Agriculture Cash Flow training scheduled to take place at Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary on February 12 starting 9 am.

Focusing on individuals and farmers clubs and any interested parties, the training intends to equip Malawians with knowledge on how they can cost their agricultural activities and simple ways of budgeting and planning.

Additionally, to train farmers how to price their commodities, how to increase income by increasing yields and to know before harvesting an estimate of their harvest.

“Around 70 to 80 percent of Malawians are during the rainy season engaged in farming activities, whether in our backyards, farm fields at our villages or on rented fields which we do as something which is just as part of our lives.

“But people engaged in farming need to take farming as a business. They should know what and how much they should invest, how to track their records, and to have an estimate of how much to expect from their investment.

“This can only work if people are able to do cash flow budget or statement, which is at the heart of this free conference” said Mhango who is founder of a manufacturing and marketing firm called Classic Business Concepts.

She said having worked with two international organizations as an agricultural communications consultant, she realized most farmers only get excited with their proceeds, but do not know what they actually invested.

Mhango foresees that once people realize there is money to be made in farming, farmers will be interested in increasing their farming land and yield.

This she explained would subsequently result into small scale farmers transitioning into medium commercial farming.

Also she said if farmers have an understanding of how much they invest, they would have a bargaining power over their produce.

“Most farmers do not know how much they put in if someone offers them K50 for their produce, they will just accept as they do not know how much they invested, and how to price their produce for them to make profits.

“This will also be one of the areas the training will be covering,” she said.

According to the consultant, this is a free training whose venue and other resources have been sponsored by the organizers. Participants are only required to contribute K2, 500 for refreshments.

She said plans are underway to take the training to Blantyre, Mzuzu or any other district where people who want to be trained.

Mhango explained that the idea to host this free training came about from a feeling of having a responsibility to contribute to the development of Malawi by doing something she enjoys.

“I am a multi skilled person but I am passionate about the agriculture sector which I believe has potential for growth and development, but it is hindered due to lack of skills and literacy levels.

“But on the other hand, Malawi also has many skilled people and professionals. I would like to encourage them to take a few minutes of their time to help train somebody so that we have an empowered citizenry,” said Mhango.

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