Saturday, March 2, 2024

A Happy Farmer: Meet Chongwe’s Youngest Organic Vegetable Grower

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Happy Lingwe, the youngest organic vegetable farmer in Chongwe’s Chikanchila village

How did he get interested in organic farming at such a young age? This is the question you ask yourself when you meet Happy Lingwe, the youngest organic vegetable farmer in Chongwe’s Chikanchila village.

The 22-year-old was only 19 when he started organic vegetable farming, joining other 99 farmers under the Civil Society Environment Fund Phase II (CSEF 2) project at Kasisi Agriculture Training Centre.

Happy passed his Grade nine exams in 2014 but could not go onto Grade 10 due to lack of sponsorship. Instead of just sitting at home, he started mining and selling building sand and after years of earning meagre wages, he heard about organic farming and it’s potential.

“One of the youths in our village Geofrey was able to raise money from organic farming and sponsor himself to college. When I heard his story I went to Kasisi to find out how I could join and when they saw my zeal, they put me on the waiting list. Later when there was a vacant plot left by a drop out farmer, they gave me a plot to start growing vegetables.”

This was two years ago. During this time Happy has been the sole breadwinner of his family, paying his siblings’ school fees as well as taking care of his aunt, who is confined to a wheelchair.

“I do not want people to feel pity for me because I am doing quite well. Of course things can always be better, but my situation was a lot worse before I started growing and selling organic vegetables.” He says with a smile.

Happy says he manages to send money to his mother in Chipata every month from his earnings, which are about ZMW4000 every month.

“I do not have a bank account yet, but I have a mobile money account where I save bit by bit because I want to go back to school.”

A strict vegetarian, Happy says he enjoys farming, especially growing vegetables using organic farming.

“I did not know that I was destroying the environment when I was mining sand, but with organic farming I have found that it actually costs less than normal farming and it improves the soil.”

Unlike most youths who get excited about socialising on the weekend, the jovial Happy loves to preach the gospel in his village.

“I am a lay evangelist at church so I spend my weekends ministering to my fellow youths in my village.

Happy says he wishes he had a borehole at home so that he could grow vegetables with other young people in his village.

“I have learned a lot on this CSEF2 project. Not only about organic farming but also about crop marketing, how to manage money and also conserve the environment. I want to pass this knowledge to my fellow youths in my village.” He says.

The CSEF2 project, which is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA), promotes technologies and land use practices associated with sustainable crop and vegetable production. By encouraging innovation in agricultural practices, farmers can secure more stable and sustainable livelihoods, restore soil fertility, foster sustainable use and management of natural resource and prevent environmental degradation.

Happy Lingwe, the youngest organic vegetable farmer in Chongwe’s Chikanchila village

8 COMMENTS

  1. One happy story there, refreshing compared to the daily dosage of depressing news about lungu and his thugs robbing Zambians blind. keep it up young man.

  2. HH thinks it will “blow up!” In his head! He has not even visited you, Sir! God bless you! You give us hope for Zambia! Please do not let our Zambia to be in the hands of Childish.

    • Your Zambia is being sold piece by piece starting with those in strategic areas. AVIC will own you before you wake up!

      Akushipuleni.

  3. Please don’t listen to the advice above, your children may lack love and may become like an online chief hooligan and bully of a tribal organization because his lazy bum polygamist father did the same. The son did not receive love so he spends all his time on the keyboard projecting nonse-nse which he harbours against his father on president and the hard-working government!

  4. Keep it up with the same spirit.GOD will see you through.If at all we can have 10,000 youths like lingwe that can be a stepping stone into having productive people in our great nation Zambia unlike what we see these days.from Young people who spend time in bars the whole day.

  5. Stop preaching young man. Spend that time planning and doing more research. We buy solutions and you are providing it.

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