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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 07:16

LUARNAR students tipped on agri-business

Written by  Chikondi Basikolo
some of the products some of the products pic by Chikondi Basikolo

Lilongwe, December 19, 2018. Youth Empowerment and Mindset Change Initiative (YEMIC), a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUARNAR) student organization, on Saturday organized a panel discussion and exhibitions with the aim of sharing knowledge on how they can embrace agriculture as a business.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) in Lilongwe, one of the guests who is the Director for Initiative for Sustainable Development (ISD), Yamikani Jassi said the aim of the discussion is to inspire students to venture into agri-business and identify sources of funds for running such businesses.

“We want to impart knowledge unto them before they graduate. Agriculture is a big ideal when we talk about business in Malawi. We wanted to inspire them and talk to them on how others have done in different industries on their own after graduating. There is no blueprint in it, the principles and knowledge are the same but what is needed are just ideas,” he pointed out.

Jassi advised the students against looking forward to be employed but rather to use the skills gained to develop their own enterprises where they can also provide employment opportunities for others.

 “We need to think beyond employment and think of ways where we can be self-employed and even create more job opportunities for others by establishing new enterprises and new companies,” he explained.

The Director told the students to desist from fear, negativity and doubts but to pursue their ideas.

Director of Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD), Frank Mwenechanya who is a graduate of the college gave a testimony of his pursuit in agribusiness.

“Students always say they don’t have capital and necessary resources for them to start business, but I have given them a living example of FISD and how it started.

We didn’t start business because someone gave us money but we started because we had knowledge from the same college. We used the same knowledge and the energy that we had as youth and started this business which is now a big enterprise,” he said.

Mwenechanya observed that to start a business requires a positive mindset and for one to be realistic with their ambitions.

LUANAR third year student, who is Chairperson of YEMIC, Tarcizio Kalaundi said as a students’ organization, they organized the event to help the youth explore the opportunities in the agriculture sector, including capital, labour, management and marketing.

“As YEMIC, we aim at changing the mindset, creating awareness and empowering the youth at all levels to undertake development for them and promote self -reliance with the active participation of the youth themselves to take responsibility of their own destiny,” he added.

Kalaundi thanked FISD, ISD, mHub as well as Noble Agriculture Technology (NAT) for patronizing the event and inspiring the students.

He said as YEMIC, they have started producing pepper and honey which are being made by the students themselves with the little resources that they have.

The core functions for YEMIC include training for transformation, youth development and economic empowerment, natural resources management, mainstreaming gender in all development, access to market and income generating activities and HIV and AIDS sensitization.