By Alfred Tembo
Building on past experience and passion could also offer a lifetime vacation in anyone’s self gifted retirement package says prominent Gweru-based commercial farmer, Matilda Manhambo.
Over the years, she realised that growing up in a rural setup, life choices would be influenced by nature and decided by opportunities at every stage and moment of maturity.
But after rendering service to the Republic of Zimbabwe as a civil servant for 36 solid years, she concludes that every outcome in life was authored by experience.
“Growing up l had a passion for farming and my parents were subsistence farmers. They were dependent on the trade – from paying our school fees to settling every domestic bill, it was through farming,” said Ms. Manhambo.
But the connection to consider farming was then decided and forged into being by realities associated with age.
She said, “When I was still employed I thought and decided on a retirement package and in 2006, I settled for farming in readiness for retirement.”
Armed with a diploma in accounting, she joined the government as a clerk in the department of research and specialist under the Ministry of Agriculture. She rose up the ranks through promotion. At the time of retirement, she was now a senior executive officer and believed that farming was a business that could help create wealth and employment opportunities for the country.
“The farm now has 22 permanent employees and from time to time, we call for seasonal farmworkers.
“We now operate commercially. We have a Global Gap certification for peas, beans and flowers so the farm exports its produce,” said Ms. Manhambo.
She further explained that resilience is key in every business engagement.
“In farming there is endurance but with a good plan, qualified personnel, and proper farm management, the production will be good. One can start small and grow with time,” she said.
Kupfuma Ishungu Farm specialises in horticulture, livestock, poultry and piggery, goats, and sheep. The enterprise operates two butcheries, that serve as ports for the farm’s primary selling outlets.