My name is Mwiinga Nzala, a third year Engineering student at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) in Lusaka.

I had an opportunity to do my industrial attachments at the Zambia -German Agricultural knowledge & Training Centre (AKTC) in Chisamba. During my attachments at AKTC, I got exposed to real commercial farming & got to learn how to pursue farming as a business.

I come from a family that practices subsistence farming, producing only enough for consumption. I have always wanted to go into agribusiness and become a commercial farmer, that’s the main
reason I chose to study Agriculture Engineering. As much as I wanted to become a commercial farmer, I never knew what commercial farming looked like because I have grown up practicing
subsistence farming on a piece of land that is less than half a hector.

Well, AKTC has exposed me to commercial farming and I have had a paradigm shift on how I look at Agriculture. I have come to understand that commercial farming is only
possible through mechanization. AKTC does not only practice Mechanized Agriculture but promotes Mechanized Conservation Agriculture. This is sustainable Agriculture which does not only increase productivity and profits but also preserves the environment for future generations. This is done by practicing minimum tillage, planting of cover crops and leaving crop residue to decompose on the field.

AKTC further educates farmers on conservation farming through projects like the Climate Adapted Farming Methods which was established to show farmers the benefits of Mechanized Conservation Agriculture.

As an Agricultural Engineering student, I really enjoyed my time as I got exposed & learnt how to operate different types farm machinery and implements. These ranged from planters, seed drillers, fertilizer spreaders, boom sprayers just to mention a few. I also got to learn how to maintain and service farm equipment. I now understand that the best way to maintain farm equipment is by servicing regularly, cleaning implements after operation and daily check ups. Practicing these steps can increase the lifespan of farm machinery.

In conclusion, uplifting Zambia’s Agriculture sector and the lives of small scale farmers needs appreciation of the impact & benefits of modern farming methods which increase productivity and profitability. Farmers must learn farming as a business and embrace Mechanized Conservation Agriculture.

AKTC is one of the organizations that is uplifting the Agriculture sector in Zambia by providing training on mechanized Conservation farming. If you are a farmer, AKTC is your best partner and is the place to be as it is a farmer’s friend