Agritech Expo Zambia partners with Small Scale Farmers Facebook Group
The active online agri community called the Small Scale Farmers – Farming as a Business – on Facebook will have a strong presence as official partners of the upcoming Agritech Expo Zambia in Chisamba this year. The outdoor farming exhibition returns for the fifth time to Chisamba from 12-14 April and is expected to attract more than 22-thousand visitors this year and will feature some 270 local and international agri equipment and services suppliers.
The founder of the Small Scale Farmers Group, the charismatic Kingsley Kachenjela, will not only be a presenter at the event’s AgriTEACH interactive, free training workshops, but the SSF Group will also have a stand in the media zone of the exhibition.
The Small Scale Farmers - Farming as a Business - Facebook Group is a growing, online community of small scale farmers and suppliers that interact on a daily basis by buying, selling, knowledge sharing and celebrating agri successes and best practice. To date, the group has more than 369 470 members.
Passion for farming
While Kingsley Kachenjela works for a refinery in Ndola, he is also a passionate farmer: “my interest in farming started when I was in secondary school when my parents introduced me to it. We used to grow rain fed maize on three hectares of land then. Some money realised after harvesting went to paying for my school fees.”
He adds: “I just acquired seven hectares in Fatima, Ndola which I intend to develop. Otherwise I have been farming with my parents in Mpongwe and in Chankute in Masaiti. In Mpongwe, 22 hectares of soya beans, 25 hectares of maize and three hectares of tomatoes have been produced this year.”
What prompted him to start the Facebook group for small scale farmers? Says Kingsley: “poor knowledge of modern agriculture systems among small scale farmers prompted me to start this group so that those who have knowledge and information can share with those who do not have. Neither government, donors or farmers unions were helping address farmers’ real profitability and holistic context.”
Access to markets
During the upcoming Agritech Expo AgriTEACH free workshops, Kingsley will give a presentation on a topic close to his heart, namely “Steps to finding suitable markets for farm produce.” He explains: “I have been hoping to find solutions for markets. If a small scale farmer does not access reliable markets, how will that farmer raise money to even purchase the latest technology on the market? Changing mind-sets to where farmers can access markets directly and are price setters, not price takers.”
Kingsley encourages all the SSF members to try and attend Agritech Expo in Chisamba and come and meet him at the stand or at the AgriTEACH workshops: “please attend to learn more about how to increase soil fertility, water retention and resilience against pests by using what you already have on your farm.”
“We are very honoured to partner with Kingsley and the more than 369 000 members of the Small Scale Farmers – Farming as a Business - Facebook Group,” says Emmanuelle Nicholls, event director of Agritech Expo Zambia. “The group is an absolute phenomenon in the way that it has created an open forum for enthusiastic small scale farmers and suppliers to communicate and share on all things agri – from buying equipment, selling day-old chicks, asking advice about a bad crop or just sharing successes and best practices. It is the perfect merger of farming and social media and has created a dynamic, caring, online agri family. We look forward to welcoming Kingsley and as many of the members of the SSF Facebook Group as possible to join us in Chisamba from 12-14 April.”