A Zambian farmer pushes the envelope
Farming in North America during the early part of the twentieth century was no picnic. Would-be farmers arrived for self employment, because of limited opportunities elsewhere, forced relocation, adventure and as remittance men. Some would gladly have abandoned their farms but remained in place only because there were no alternatives.
The environment was harsh: there was little or no infrastructure and no safety nets. Agricultural methods were primitive and horse power was really horse power if available at all. Only the very determined survived. Some prospered.
From today’s perspective we see the application of advanced technologies: new fertilizers and chemicals, new products, infrastructure, education, marketing agencies, health insurance, capital availability, and economies of scale. So common is this vista, there is difficulty in imagining the industry in any other condition.
Now realize that there is a farmer in Zambia working under circumstances very similar to the North American world in the early part of the century just finished. His name is Tangson. By North American standards his maize farm is small and primitive. It is complete with a number of animals including milk cows, cattle, goats and chickens.
Tangson has accomplished much. He has built and maintains a first class water source, his animal husbandry is of good quality, his housing is more than adequate, he has excellent dietary practices and hygien is first class. He is a commnity buider and leader. Family is paramount. Education is high priority. His children children walk long distances to school as did many North American families. The only hint of today’s technology is a cell phone.
Tangson’s farming enterprize is the result of hard work , forward thinking and the intelligence to adopt best practices. Successful farmers in North America more than a century ago faced very similar conditions. To be sure there are differences in size, crops and climate. What are the same is the determination, the necessity to succeed, the pride of accomplishment and community support.
Tangson has carefully considered his next move to expand his enterprize. Now dear reader, what would you do if you were Tangson?