The battle for the plot is about to come to an end – who will walk away with the prize?
Yes, I am talking about Don’t Lose the Plot – the youth agribusiness show airing in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
We have been following the farmers over the last 12 weeks (elapsed 9 months of farming time) and have certainly seen the young farmers learn and become successful with their agribusiness ventures.
For those of you who haven’t been watching the all the episodes are available online at dontlosetheplot.tv and here is a little background for you…
What’s the aim of the competition? Four young farmers are trying to achieve the largest income in the most sustainable and climate adapted way. They have just one-acre of land each and one season to grow. With set budgets, they have had to be careful regarding which choices they make over crop types, soil testing, fertilisers, irrigation …? Every decision has an impact on who wins the ultimate prize – a plot of land of their very own!
And what a journey it has been.
From the first weeks where each farmer had ambitious lists of tens of crops and animals for their acre; from potatoes to onions, cows to rabbits, we have seen each farmer research, work out their budgets and narrow down their crop choices and really get to work on the farm.
What I have found most amazing and encouraging is the how productive an acre of land can be in just 9 months. All the contestants have been growing, harvesting and selling their produce on a regular basis. It has not always been easy – the farmers have learnt to think carefully about the amount of produce they grow and whether there is a market for their produce. Strategically choosing crops that are in high demand at the right time can amplify profits and transform a farming business.
As a competition spanning over just 9 months, it was important for the farmers to use their land productively all the time. They could not just hope the soil was the right condition or wait for the rains. We have seen how you can work the land to make it productive and profitable all year round. For example, by choosing to invest in a Futurepump solar irrigation pump the farmers were able to irrigate throughout the dry season and continue to harvest.
Farming can be profitable, you can pay off loans, you can make a livelihood AND help feed the world.
But, back to the crux of the matter! Who are the contestants hoping to take home the prize?
“Success is not an instant coffee affair” – the youngest in the group Kenneth has certainly shown a flair for farming! The only farmer to venture into dairy farming alongside his crops Ken has shown that he is extremely ambitious and willing to try new ways to make the most profit on his land. But will his cow sell for as much as he budgeted and how will his second crops fair?
“There is money to be made in farming” – Leah’s enthusiasm and drive to learn about farming as a business has certainly helped her within this competition. It has certainly not been easy for her though, with her crops not selling for as much as she hoped in the market. However, this has not stopped her, she regrouped, found out about loans and has branched into the profitable business of mushroom farming! We can’t wait to see how this turns out!
“There’s no one like me on this farm… I am going to be the winner!” – having grown up with farming Issah was always going to be a strong contender to win. He is certainly talented at selling with buyers arriving at the farm to purchase his harvests straight from the field. Helped by Winrose his farm has flourished and his chicken business too. Can anything stop this guy? But will it be enough to win?
“Now I see that it is easy to make money from farming” – Winrose has stuck to a mixed farming approach consistently growing three or four crops at a time whilst also tending to her broilers. She made an impressive profit after the first harvests and this looks likely to continue. Will her determination and aptitude for farming put her on the top of the podium?
I don’t know about you but I think it’s just too close to call!
I certainly can’t wait to find out!
And most exciting of all… what we have all been waiting for… will we finally discover who Jack chose as his winner in the first week?
Citizen TV Kenya:
Thursday – 1:30 PM EAT (English)
In Tanzania? Catch the show on Friday – 6:30 PM ITV TZ
We want to hear about what you have learnt and how this will impact your agribusiness going forwards! Share this post with your stories and we will look out for them!