The pursuit of excellence is an attribute that must be in everyone – particularly entrepreneurs. In Zimbabwe, some are doing well on that front but many more still need a nudge. I have lost count of the number of articles on agriculture that I have done. After all, there are inexhaustible prospects in the agricultural sector. Lately, I have been doing some research where I am compiling a list of small grain farming companies in every country in Africa. It keeps reminding me of the serious shortage of data online; turns out many are not visible online. Anyways, I came across an agribusiness called Zvikomborero Farms and I was quite impressed by its package. So in this article, I will be profiling it and also pointing out key things to note.
WHAT ZVIKOMBORERO FARMS IS ALL ABOUT
“Zvikomborero (Zviko) Farms (Pvt) Ltd (“the Business” or “the Farm”), is an integrated agribusiness with farming operations located 120km South of Harare, in Featherstone, Hampshire Area, in Chikomba District on freehold title land. The business is currently utilising 3000 hectares and continues to add more land for its expanding programmes. The Farm was bought by Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula in 1992 and presently, the Business engages in a variety of farming activities that are integrated on the livestock value chain.
With its mission be become a model of a Centre of Farming Excellence (CoFE), the business has implemented best practices in its breeding, processing, and marketing processes with a training school for other commercial and smallholder farmers. Starting with just beef and grain production, the farm has diversified its offerings to include stud and commercial breeding of Tuli, Boran and Mashona cattle and stud and commercial breeding of Boer, Kalahari Red, indigenous and milk goats; Poultry, Fish and Egg production, pasture grasses, legumes, forage trees and specialized Stock feeds for goats.”
For those of you who might not know who Dr Devine Ndhlukula is, she is the founder and managing director of Securico, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security companies.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Their product and service range is comprised of 7 core items. These are Zviko Tuli Stud, School of Farming Excellence, Eggs ‘n More, Zviko Boer And Kalahari Stud, Meat ‘More, Zviko Boran Stud, and Zviko Feeds ‘n More. Basically, they do crop farming, cattle farming, goat farming, poultry, piggery, and feed formulation amongst other related areas. The School of Farming Excellence is a training school focused on providing valuable practical skills and knowledge on farming as a business. The training is run by Zvikomborero Farm Experts in partnership with various key stakeholders from the government, research institutions and private sector players. It is quite a comprehensive product service range; impressive! For more details, you can check out their website.
THINGS TO LEARN FROM THIS ENTERPRISE
That is one of the things that stand out about Zviko Farms. They do have a Facebook page but I am impressed by their website, something that I want every farming entrepreneur in Zimbabwe to emulate. The website is well designed and informative – after visiting it you have a detailed appreciation of what Zviko Farms is all about. The website is also quite responsive be it on a desktop or mobile version. High-resolution actual images are used on the website; unlike some websites that use downloaded images from other farms.
The icing on the cake is the incorporation of an online shop – smart! Products on sale in the store are commercial beef, super beef, economy beef, fish and chicken, lamb and goat, pork, sausage, offals, grains and others. This underscores the importance of selling the products you produce as both retail or wholesale and raw or value-added. It is a simple yet beautiful online shop; the payment method is cash on delivery. Farmers out there must learn to adopt this approach as well especially now; it is imperative. Their products are also available at selected retailers in Harare.
INCORPORATION OF TRAINING SERVICES
If you have the privilege to be a farm owner then seriously consider this. This can be another source of income where you conduct or facilitate field training on various farming activities. Zviko Farms has a training service through their school of excellence. Its main thrust is to bridge the gap between what colleges are training and what is happening in society. Training programs are quite affordable for example a 5-day goat production course (inclusive of accommodation, food, and a certificate) costs US$95. They share their training calendar on the website. People are by nature eager to learn through a participatory and experiential approach.
OWN FEED FORMULATION
I once mentioned some time back that it is strategic when doing livestock to formulate your own feeds. At Zviko Farms that is what they do and not only does it reduce costs but it helps you come up with superior livestock. Where possible as a farmer you must try to incorporate your own feed formulation for your stock feeds. The witty thing is that they actually grow the grain needed for such formulations.
I am sure you grabbed some invaluable takeaways from this article as we explored Zvikomborero Farms. Such levels of agribusiness excellence can be emulated, attained, and even surpassed. It also serves as an inspiration to other women to see a woman doing exceptionally well in business. Agribusinesses are vital going forward; it is even postulated that the next crop of African billionaires will be from agribusinesses.