NOBLE GOLD- HOW THE PROJECT ADDRESSES THE CHALLENGE
As Noble Gold, after realising how difficult it is for the rural communal farmers to access funding opportunities, the company noticed a need for supporting these farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices that can enable them to realize their full potential and grow their farming businesses and integrate them into the mainstream economy. Under this business model, Noble Gold in collaboration with our partner organization, Impact Africa Trust, shall come up with some tailor made packages that will assist the farmers by proving them with all their necessary agricultural inputs and equipment. This will give a higher output and effective coordination along the proposed value chain as a result more crop harvest would be brought to the factory as inclusive market for the farm produce from the supported farmers. This relationship is of mutual benefit to both sides as the farmers, sale their produce at better prices and the firm will also get a constant and stable supply of the required raw materials. The scheme will cover every spectrum of the company’s main raw materials which includes banana, papaya, coffee, maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, peanuts, soya beans and sugar beans.
The company will establish a well organized and effective network with banana small scale farmers in Honde valley. Ten small holder banana farmers will be selected and be trained on how to productively do commercial banana farming. Noble Gold will also establish its own banana plantation in the rural community of Gutu closer to Mazare irrigation dam which is the place where the processing factory shall be sited. The same work frame approach will as well be used on the 10 selected Coffee small scale farmers from Chipinge rural district.
On papaya farming, the company will identify 10 local farmers in Gutu rural area close to the factory site and provide them with the papaya seed. Those who cannot do it as individuals, will be encouraged to form co-operatives. These papaya trees will be planted along the boundaries of one’s farming land thereby not interfering with the middle part of the current farming land. That way the rural farmers will be able to run their projects without any need for extra land. This arrangement can be effectively implemented without affecting the farmer’s current farming operations hence it will not face any resistance. For this crop, Noble Gold shall acquire five (5) cow drawn water bowsers where water would be pumped into then the farmers will use to fetch water from the dam to their small holder farm lands. This will supplement watering during dry seasons. When established, papaya tree requires less water for it to have a sweet taste fruit. Therefore it is a cash crop that utilizes very little volume of water. Currently the farmers run some small holder gardens along the dam water basin. So introducing papaya on these gardens will go a long way as another source of income to the farmers. These gardens can therefore be coordinated into co-operatives among the farmers.
On small grain crops, 5 local farmers will be selected from each crop sector. These farmers will be provided with certified seed. Since the number of crops to be grown is 7, this would bring a total number of farmers to benefit under this sub-sector to 35.
Collectively under the whole business model, there will be a total of 65 farmers that will benefit ie- 10 banana, 10 papaya, 10 coffee and 35 on small grain crops. All these farming projects will be conducted under contract farming as all the produce would be sold to Noble Gold as raw materials for the factory processing.
The factory production facility will largely employ female workforce. The sanitary pads manufacturing will make them available and affordable to women as well as creating jobs for them in the process. On the sanitary pads, the main focus would be boarding schools and tertiary institutions. On boarding schools, the Head girls will be the ambassadors of this product. The company will also work out a collaborative framework with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other NGOs that advocate for the communities supply of sanitary pads so that it can supply their entire sanitary provision projects. That will assist in marketing the product at a very high organizational plate form.
The company will also work with provincial hospitals with regard to patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and infant pediatrics as a way to introduce into the market its “Utano” milk shake, Utano family porridge and Utano soft baby porridge. On banana and papaya fresh fruits sales, since informal traders constitute the greater percentage of buyers, the company will engage the Zimbabwe Association of Informal Traders and work out a tailor made scenario where the traders can be supplied with the product on credit then pay after selling so that the company will manage to move volumes in sales. The company will also engage marketing organizations like ‘Better Agriculture’ and ‘Zimtrade’– these are companies which provide technical and business consultancy along the entire agricultural value chain, as well as identifying suitable market linkages with proper buyers in Zimbabwe, African regions and abroad so as to stimulate export sales. As a move to plough back to the community, the company will sponsor some schools competitions and pay portion of school fees as prizes. Fresh banana fruits will also be donated to school teams during the sporting seasons. This will help to create a bond with products straight from schools to tertiary level and that bond will remain alive even when these students grow to parenthood.
The model will also address gender disparities as women are vital contributors to farm work. The project will finance men and women on a 50 50 percent framework. Addressing this gap will help households women become more productive and increase incomes within poor families. Obviously with this business model arrangement, there will be no loss of produce after harvesting as the company will provide a ready market for the farmers’ produce. This rural industrialization concept will go a long way in developing the local rural area. It is also a model that we encourage the government to adopt as a model of vision to establish at least one manufacturing firm in each and every rural district.
Training rural beneficiaries will have a ripple effect to their communities as they will act as change agents who will influence and inspire their peers to effectively manage their farming operations. Assisting farming families this way, increases production in a sustainable way as they will sell more crops as a result that becomes a much more effective way to reduce hunger and poverty over the long term. The supported farmers will grow more food and earn more income, they will better be able to feed their families, send their children to school, provide for their families’ health and reinvest in their farms for more improved production. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women are vital contributors to farm work, but because they have less access to improved certified seeds, better techniques, technologies and markets, yields on their plots are typically 30 to 40 percent lower than their level of potential. This model will cover up this gap and households will become more productive and increase incomes.
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