Mathews Mbamba was born in 1984 in the Ndola district of theCopperbelt province of Zambia. Mathews enjoyed the benefits of an early education but moved school many times attending: Kapwepwe, Ndola, Kanyenda, Mpongwe, Kafulafuta, Kaloko and Luanshya. Mathews married in 2005 and apart from having 5 of his own children he and his wife provide a home for 4 other children some of whom were orphans.
Mathews Mbamba started work with Nampamba farms in the Zambian Mpongwe district as a pest scout and centre pivit (irrigator) operator in 2006 where he remained until 2009 before starting farming for himself.
During his first year of farming in 2009/10 season, Mathews grew 1ha of maize and harvested 97 50kg bags of maize. Using this income, he bought a second car to be used as a taxi which generated enough net income to enable him to purchase fertilisers for his crops. By 2019, Mathews Mbamba had increased his farming land to 85 hectares.
Impact of mechanisation
Mathews signed a lease with AgLeaseCo in 2019 for a Tafe tractor. During his first mechanised season he increased his crop growing from 85 Ha to 90 Ha and then 95 Ha in his second year. This increase in cropping has greatly increased his income.
Mathews Mbamba in his soya and maizefields.
As soon as Mathews took delivery of the tractor his thoughts moved to diversification of his farming business in an effort to improve cash flow and income. He took on the challenges of animal husbandry and now owns 25 cattle and 100 goats. He also understands the benefits of a happy workforce and has invested heavily in creating quality living accommodation for his farm workers.
Farm worker accommodation
Within a remarkably short period of time Mathews has increased his income sufficiently to purchase: 130 ha of land, a 30-tonne truck and also build his own agro shop to serve the local community and give local employment opportunities. He now has a workforce of 21 full-time workers plus many seasonal workers. Furthermore Mathews offers agricultural services to his neighbours using his tractor which has increased their income, some of which they spend in his agro shop!
Influence on the local community mind set
Many of Mathews’ agricultural services customers have quickly recognised the benefits of mechanisation such as Joseph Silavwe Mulenga and Mateyo Tweshe both of whom have signed leases with AgLeaseCo. Mathews entrepreneurship has taken him into the field of grain trading to the benefit of his local community. Using his tractor to reach otherwise cut-off districts he has been able to purchase grain out-of-season with the sellers achieving higher sale proceeds than they would have received at farm gate after harvest. Mathews latest plans are to increase his cultivated land to 100 hectares (which will require stump removal and bush clearing) and to use some of the additional land for vegetable farming.