Developing a Winning Attitude in a Farming Enterprise

by Eric K. Mwenda

Small scale Farmers country wide and probably in the region are crying foul because the rate at which they are progressing is very slow. They are called such names as "Peasant, small-scale, Tuntemba farmers."

For how long are they going to be in this class? It is time as Farmers, we developed a winning attitude. This does not apply to farmers alone but anybody aspiring for GREATNESS as Dr.Moses has been telling us.

In Zambia, there is this syndrome of DEPENDENCE on Government to do almost everything for us Farmers. Winners or champions do not wait for anybody to do things for them. They create ways and means to achieve their desired goals.

How can we do this? We must find time to PLAN, DREAM,ORGANISE, NETWORK and this name PEASANT will depart from us with shame. Let us develop a positive attitude which does not recognize failure but VICTORY.

Every worth while activity will have hurdles but with a determined positive attitude and a flair to aim for excellence, greatness or graduating from this syndrome will be seen just as a phase.

Secondly, Peasant farmers need to realise that we are living in a changing world and that demands for a prudent change in the way we handle our farming activities. Knowing that ROGO was a good pesticide when you were growing does not mean that ROGO can still perform as it is used to be today.

There are other products that can work as good but our other small-scale farmers have developed a "no change attitude" which explains why we have got a high percentage of small-scale farmers country wide with very little chance of climbing the ladder to the next level.

I am not saying every small-scale farmer is in this class but those that have embraced new technologies are seen enjoying the fruits of change.

We should know where we are going as small-scale farmers. It is not a good thing just spending our hard earned money on an activity we do not know where it is ending.

Farming must therefore be regarded as a business just like any other business. It must have a plan, a clear plan with profitability figures or losses clearly identified well in advance.

With a plan at hand, consult experts where you are not sure of and then the journey to be called a commercial Farmer will have began.

I therefore want to agree with that old Chinese adage,"the journey of a thousand miles begins with a kilometer." It actually begins with us peasant farmers developing a WIN-WIN attitude.

Weather and other factors may block us but "where there is a will,there is always a way!" Somebody said, there is no monument that was built in honour of a coward! Milton Kamwendo was correct when he mentioned this in his book. And this brings to my third view - Courage.

We must have courage to face our challenges as farmers. Our economy is improving and it needs you and me to envelop opportunities available in this sector. Let us find the courage to organise and visit Commercial farmers and copy their steps.

Developing a winning attitude as small-scale farmers means building a farming empire as Zambians that should create results we must eat, embrace and pass on to our future generations.

Remember charity begins at home. As you make resolutions for this 2008, remember to plan for your farming activity knowing that a winning attitude as a farmer is the way to go.

Eric Mwenda

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