Thursday, 16 April 2015

From Rwf30, 000, Muneza has built a multi-million business empire

From Rwf30, 000, Muneza has built a multi-million business empireModern agriculture was hitherto seen by most residents of the Eastern Province as preserve of the well-to-do; those with ‘waste’.

But this was before Jean Bosco Muneza, a model farmer in Karubungo cell, Gitoki sector in Gatsibo District, demystified this myth seven years ago. To many Gatsibo District residents, Muneza’s name is “Farmer”.

Whenever one talks about commercial farming in the district and Eastern Province, generally, most residents will direct them to Muneza’s farm.
Takes on President’s challenge
Like most successful business people, Muneza says he was inspired by President Paul Kagame’s speech on job-creation.

“I was listening to Radio Rwanda (now RBA Radio) when I had the President challenging Rwandans to stop lamenting about poverty and unemployment when are not doing anything to change their situation,” he says.

He adds that afterwards, he reviewed his living standards and asked himself if he had done enough to improve his livelihood.

“But I was shocked that I was largely to blame for the poverty I was wallowing in. Since then I resolved to do something to turn round the situation,” he notes.

“I had always dreamt of becoming a big farmer. Naturally, I was inclined to the agriculture sector, in which I believed I had some basic skills to do a decent job,” he adds.

Muneza points out that a few months after the President’s speech; he started a pineapple growing project.

He says he used his small savings of about Rwf30,000 to buy 1,000 pineapple suckers, which he planted on a two-hectare piece of land.

Shot in the arm
Around the same time, he was seconded by local leaders for assistance earmarked for the less privileged residents by World Vision. He says the assistance involved World Vision paying for his children’s education, as well as farmer training programmes.

“I was relieved and glad that my children would access quality education. This strengthened my resolve to pursue my dream in farming,” he explains.

He says World Vision extension staff trained him and other farmers in modern farming, which improved his crop husbandry skills.

“With the skills, I passionately looked after the plantation and waited patiently. I was always calculating how much I would earn when they start production... This was my first step to a better future, so I could not take any chances,” he points out. Read More...

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