Here is my take on the online discussion.
I am Sylvester Chabuka a young Malawian man of 23 years. My professional journey in Agriculture started last year when I got selected by the Ministry of Agriculture to embark on a 3 months youth Agribusiness and entrepreneurship training at SMEDI in a NEPAD project. But my passion for agriculture can be traced back to my early childhood when I saw our families in the village harvesting surpluses crops but eventually would still experience famine in the late summer due to lack of Agriculture processing or preservation skills. This fact propelled me to sick for a carrier in Agriculture. The major challenges so far have been lack of financial resource to finance my activities and dealing with expectations from the family and peers, as many consider agriculture as the least field a person can engage in, of which am proving wrong.
My major achievements have been the registration of my business, MTENGO WAKUMUNDA ENTERPRISE, (farm price enterprise) and the commencement of production soya porridge flour and Nsima flour.
Through my venture which I started with $20 I have been able to buy a digital scale, a sealing machine and have to female workers helping me in production. On the other hand realizing that no financial support is really available for me I have invested in tomato farming where I am targeting to earn $1,000 as it is the only thing that stands between me and my success in agribusiness. Besides farming tomatoes I am also growing leaf vegetables for family consumption and commercial.
On youth employment I would love to ask "what financial support is available for young agri entrepreneurs?"
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to attending the conference.