Civic education inspires young entrepreneur to venture into agribusiness

The young man plans to double hectares for pepper growing. Photos by Michel Nkurunziza.

After gaining inspiration on job creation from the National Civil Education Training, emerging entrepreneur, Isaac Nsengimana ventured into pepper farming, which is currently generating income in Bugesera District.

Business Timesvisited his one hectare farm of pepper in the vicinity of Lake Kirimbi in Gashora sector, Mwendo cell.

The 30-year-old young graduate attended the training in 2010 after completing secondary school and later started to ponder the way to create employment for himself and his peers.

His seal to create employment started a few years after government re-established Itorero “National Civic Education Training” in 2007 with among the target audiences including youth who complete secondary school.

The training is also part of National Strategy Transformation under phase (2018-2024) that aims at promoting self-reliance culture for poverty reduction, working together, home grown solutions to solve different community issues, strengthening the initiative for positive change among the trainees who complete secondary school.

After attending Itorero, Nsengimana was inspired to venture into pepper farming. 

Through Itorero, the trainees also learn self-reliance among other Rwandan values to enable the reality of Vision 2050 that will enable each citizen to generate at least $12,476 income per year.

After the training Nsengimana, got casual work and saved proceeds from which he was able to raise capital to  venture into pepper farming in 2016 after completing university level.

“During the civic education training, we were inspired with ways to create our jobs rather than seeking jobs. As an agronomist, I was got casual works in agriculture sector from which I got start-up capital to grow pepper since I had no permanent job,” he said.

He grows pepper on a hectare he leases at Rwf300,000 and irrigates it to cope with drought effects.

“It requires an investment of between Rwf1.5 million and Rwf1.8 million to grow pepper on hectare. I already have ready market in India where we sell pepper at $1 dollar per Kilogramme,” he said.

He plants 250 grams of pepper seeds per hectare and one tree produces between 200 and 400 pods.

“I water the crops twice per week by using irrigation equipment bought at Rwf150,000 thanks to subsidies from the Ministry of Agriculture. The best season starts from January to June while from September to January is often not as easy since there are heavy rains that cause decaying of the pods. Every season I harvest 5,000 Kilogrammes but last season I harvested 3,000 kg due to bad climate,” he said

The young entrepreneur who had never practiced farming before is currently saving between Rwf1.5 million and Rwf3 million per season

“From the savings, I have bought land plots worth Rwf8 million besides satisfying different basic needs. Next season I target to grow pepper on 4 hectares thanks to the growing profit,” he said.

Nsengimana who is also planning to establish a processing factory for pepper produce is currently able to create jobs to fellow youth who he pays a total of Rwf1.5 million per season.

The workers are employed during different phases of pepper growing chain. At least 45 casual workers are employed in each phase that include tilling, planting, application of fertilizers, irrigating, weeding, harvesting and transporting to market.

“I urge other youth to think of all possible ways to create their own jobs since it also helps to create jobs for other unemployed young people. They should also tap into job creation opportunities that are currently available by starting with little capital they have,” he said.

The young investor is also the vice president of Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum in Bugesera District after becoming a model farmer.