Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a freefall over the past two decades and many have become victim to the meltdown that has seen companies closing and investors leaving in droves.
Entrepreneurship has become the new normal and those that are embarking on this journey with a clear method and strategy are reaping the rewards.
One such success story is Lameck Mazaiwana (36), a fast-rising agripreneur and MD of Ebenezer Distributors who is working with farmers in designing market-tested programmes to poultry farming and related equipment sales.
“Ebenezer Distributors Pvt Ltd was formed in 2015 and is registered with the government of Zimbabwe,” Mazaiwana said.
“Our focus is to help farmers dealing in poultry production with a deliberate focus on free-range farming and extending to broilers and layers production.”
poultry farming champion, whose business is bringing a professional slant to the sector, is based in the Tynwald South industrial area and is servicing clients in Harare and beyond.
“Our Ebenezer poultry unit has a long tradition of providing a wide range of consultancy services to all sectors of the poultry industry including producers, feed, additive manufacturers, government agencies and departments,” he said.
“Our clients are spread across Zimbabwe and we are receiving various calls to set up offices in other towns and growth points around Zimbabwe.” he said.
For the four years that the agripreneur has been in business, he has had to battle mindset limitations with most upcoming farmers.
“Our biggest challenge with farmers has been mindset limitations as most of them wanted to do this as a pastime believing it’s a preserve for whites and other ‘sophisticated’ players,” he said.
“We have, therefore, designed programmes to educate them on going professional so that they reap more rewards.
“Those that are taking up our advice are seeing the benefits and are fast blossoming into successful enterprises.”
Ebenezer Distributors provides poultry-related advice on welfare, biosecurity, organic systems and the environment to producers and poultry keepers of ‘hobby flocks’ based in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries.
“Our influence is fast-spreading across the region and we are even getting business from locals in the diaspora,” he said.
“We are very big on efficiency and high-quality service and that has set us apart from our competitors. We don’t just deliver a service, we also follow it up and make sure our clients get the desired returns.”
Born and bred in Mundenda village in Mutasa, Manicaland province, Mazaiwana, who is an ex-soldier, is a father of one and married to Sonia Mundenda.
“I was born and bred in Mundenda in Mutare and growing up I was always passionate about agripreneurship,” he said.
“That passion saw me retiring early than usual to pursue my passion and I am happy that beyond earning a living, I am helping farmers to self actualise.”
Ebenezer Distributors also sells equipment like layer cages and incubators that have helped bring life to a trade that had for a long time been trivialised by locals.
“We are advising farmers on commercialising their poultry farming ventures. Many farmers still need to be educated on understanding and appreciating the many opportunities that abound in this sector,” Mazaiwana said.
The poultry farming consultant also revealed that he had immensely benefited from the various. trainings and exhibitions he undertakes.
“Knowledge is something that you have to look for and gather over time. I have gained a lot of knowledge from participating in trainings and exhibitions,” he said.
“I am then passing on that knowledge to my clients and those that have accessed our services are recording great progress. For the past two years we have seen a great improvement in how farmers do business.”
Mazaiwana also revealed that he was in the process of designing training programmes for farmers so that when they get his products and services they can put them to good use.
“The success that I am witnessing with some of my clients has helped me to see opportunities and I am presently designing free training programmes for farmers so that they are able to put the services and products we offer to good use,” he said.
The Ebenezer Distributors boss called on locals to see opportunities and professionalise so that they can rise beyond the limitations of the struggling economy.
“I believe every one of us has a skill and passion that can be turned into a livelihood. Yes, the environment is challenging, but with a professional and winner attitude, the possibilities are too many,” he said.