The USAID Zambia Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced (EDGE) Activity believes that training farmers — combined with extensive one-on-one coaching — yields the best results. Through its business advisor model, the USAID Zambia EDGE Activity is working with local entrepreneurs in Zambia who have business management experience and knowledge of the agricultural sector and selected value chains to provide direct consultant services to agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MKP Farms is among the 10 business advisors working with the USAID Zambia EDGE Activity to provide tailored coaching to SMEs to help strengthen their ability to apply new skills and knowledge to challenges that hinder their growth.

To achieve this, MKP Farms has introduced an outgrower scheme for 14 SMEs under its mentorship and 25,000 other farmers to supply 30,000 metric tons of sweetcorn, chilies, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and onions to local chain stores and the export market for food processing industries in Europe. The outgrower scheme is expected to generate $320 million dollars annually.

To ensure a high quality, quantity, and consistency in the supply of the commodities, MKP Farms organized a training for the farmers to discuss the outgrower contract, allocate the appropriate crops to new farmers, and introduce farmers to low-cost farming methods and climate resilience practices.

“If each farmer under the scheme can produce 20 tons per crops, we can take over the whole market for Zambia, including Southern Africa, even exporting beyond. As individuals farmers, we may not manage, but through concerted efforts like this where farmers come together, then we can achieve that.”

–Micheal Phiri, founder, MKP Farms

Agricultural SME owners discuss outgrower contracts.

Monice Musongole, owner of Namatemba Farms, an SME under the mentorship of MKP Farms, believes the knowledge and technical know-how provided by MKP Farms will help her run her business.

“Under the scheme, we will grow 60 tons of chili, sweetcorn, and paprika, which puts us on the right path to growth as a business. We have employed a farm manager and have put in place an irrigation system on the farm. In addition, we can now properly record our financial transactions and are able to plan adequately for the farm. Imagine we have a tractor, which we used to hire out as we could not see any value in using it, but now, with the knowledge we have acquired, we have put it to good use on the farm.”

–Monica Musongole, owner, Namatemba Farm

Through its implementing partner Agova, the USAID Zambia EDGE Activity is providing training and support to 10 business advisors to improve business and financial management, evidence-based decision making, investment planning, contract negotiation, teambuilding and human resource management, leadership, entrepreneurship, customer service, and other soft skills.

Learn more about the USAID Zambia Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced Activity.

Learn more about our work in Zambia.