Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has challenged graduating students at Mwimba College of Agriculture (Mwica) in Kasungu to embrace entrepreneurship and establish their own businesses.
In an interview, the ministry’s principal secretary Gray Nyandule Phiri said if agriculture students take up entrepreneurship, the country can be transformed further because the economy is agro-based with about 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) coming from the agriculture sector.
“These graduates have been exposed to the essentials of crop production from seed to the marketing dynamics, climate smart agriculture, livestock production, environmental management and many facets of general agriculture.
“Furthermore, the entrepreneurship course they have studied should act as a challenge to the graduates to manage their agricultural businesses,” he said.
Nyandule-Phiri said the vast knowledge that the students have acquired is more than enough to give them confidence to engage with farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
Mwica is the training arm of Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (Aret) to develop skilled and practical agricultural experts and farmers to profitably manage farming enterprises.
Aret board chairperson Reuben Maigwa said the college has contributed to the country’s agriculture sector.
“When this college was opened in 2001, we never expected that it will be where it is today. The graduates who have passed through this college are contributing significantly to the country’s economy,” he said.
Aret chief executive officer Andy Khumbanyiwa said plans are underway to start offering degree programmes in agriculture.
Initially, the college was offering a certificate in tobacco production, but later on changed and started offering a certificate in agriculture.
Since 1999, Mwimba College has graduated 748 students with 517 getting certificates and 231 diplomas.