After failing to secure employment, Edward Holla Ndau, started irrigation farming with a watering cane on a small piece of land and he did not only harvest crops.
Holla also transformed himself into an entrepreneur who has since created employment for other people.
The farmer who lives at Chirimba in Blantyre dropped out of school in Form One to look after his siblings.
He started farming in 2008 as a last resort after failing to secure a job.
Holla had worked on the farm for a year when he was spotted by an organisation called People’s Federation for National Peace and development (PEFNAP).
“After seeing my garden they stopped for a short chat and admired what I was doing and said they would help me with some resources to boost my farming. They later gave me K50, 000 cash, 4 bags of fertilisers and 6 watering canes. This was the turning point of my farming activities,” he said.
The support improved Holla’s farm and he was able to add more varieties of crops for growing at his garden.
This led to increase of workload at the farm so he invited his three brothers and cousin to join forces and work together as a family.
Executive Director for PEFENAP Edward Chaka said he was impressed by Holla’s garden hence decided to help him to boost his irrigation farming.
“We got attracted by his farming activities and we decided to give him some materials to help him to boost his irrigation activities,” said Chaka whose organisation also provides entrepreneurship counselling to youths.
Today, Holla has managed to provide jobs for three permanent employees and other part time workers.
He grows crops such as maize, bananas mangoes, sugarcanes, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, guavas and paw paws which he sells to individuals and institutions.
“Some of our main customers are schools such Michiru secondary schools as well as vegetable traders from Limbe, Blantyre and Lunzu markets where we sell our produce at a wholesale price,” he said.
The irrigation farming has been a very good source of income for Holla and his siblings. On a good harvest period, he makes an income of not less than K200, 000 and he harvests three times a year. He also rears pigs, cattle and goats