Meet a young entrepreneur Ray Peter Mark from Dodoma-Tanzania who has received support from SUGECO. His big dream in agriculture to feed the world is now coming true. His parents used to send him to farm early in the morning before going to school and during the weekends, which is where he developed his spirit and ambition to work in agriculture. He has achieved a lot although it was not easy for him to start agribusiness. He started with by promoting agriculture by establishing demo farms in his secondary school and village.
‘‘Farming in an open field gave a low yield while requiring a tremendous amount of effort. Now that I am using the greenhouse, I am able to save 40,000 shillings per week after our household expenses’’.
At the beginning, Ray Mark was cultivating crops in the open field where the crops were more susceptible to diseases, pests, and birds. Water consumption for irrigation in open field was also significantly higher than it is in greenhouse. By using the greenhouse, he is able to make more profit under the same amount of time. In six months, the yield increased from one tonne in open field to seven tonnes in greenhouse with less labour force. He became a champion farmer in his village and Dodoma as a whole. He is now producing quality products due to a better pest management system in the greenhouse whilst using a lower production cost than open field.
‘‘I am also visiting my fellow farmers and advising them on the importance of using greenhouse in agriculture and other good agricultural practices method so that they can move from where they are to another step of achievement as part of my contribution to the community’’
Through greenhouse project he has been able to get in to different network around Tanzania. He is a trusted young man sent by the government officials to teach other youth around Dodoma area through workshops to value agriculture as a business and to grasp opportunities in other sector. He has been getting many visitors from different places to learn about horticulture. Moreover, he is now able to open small cement blocks industry, to have electricity service at his home, and to provide employment to other youth. He is now supplying vegetables and other crops like tomatoes, okras and eggplants to the supermarkets and hotels in Dodoma. Through his achievements from this SUGECO-supported greenhouse, the Ministry of Youth has granted seven million shillings for him to establish another greenhouse.