Many perceive farming to be laborious work, however Jimmy Ntambala, a 33-year-old who founded Kingdom Farms, it’s not so. He has taken up farming which he terms ‘cool’. “My kind of farming is a cool activity. By the time you keep thinking about where to grow your crops, your brain and body function better,” Ntambala said.
The rise of prices of food during the first Covid 19 lockdown became his paradigm shift towards farming. As one who had a background in agriculture when he was younger, the idea of farming popped easily at the top of his mind. When he researched on the internet, he was inspired by farmers from Nairobi, Kenya who were doing farming interestingly by using hydroponics. Since he had time, he started farming crops in sacs on a 2 by 2 square metres area. He was experimenting but his intent was to expand.
In April 2020 when his family was staying in Kigarama Sector, Kicukiro District, he officially started Kingdom Farms. They began with cultivating tomatoes in sacs on a small scale and later grew to 5 by 4 square metres. Now their home farm is 10 by 15 square metres.
“For me, farming is not just a business; it is a way of life. It’s the thing we need to teach our children when they are still young. When you teach children to do farming, at the same time you teach them to be patient, look after things and as well as grow resilience of heart,” he said. He has also developed a business model for his business, Kingdom Farms. The business has also opened other new forms of business. Now, people call him and his wife to set up farms for them.
According to Ntambala and his family, farming is more than just a business; it is their contribution to the community. They have employed one person and now he has a small house. They have also found a market for their vegetables in the neighbourhood. Within one year, they set up farms for different people in Kigali (Kimironko, Kinyinya, and Busanza). Their neighbours have also benefited from their farms. Some even come to their home and be taught how they can grow their crops.
Kingdom Farms seeks to grow their farming activities into an agricultural training and ecotourism centre. Since they also care about children, they want to introduce these farms in schools.
“Our ecotourism farm will be located in town and will contribute to the Visit Rwanda programme. I want to be ready by the time CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) comes back. We shall have done study tours for schools, trained people, and introduced greenhouse farms,” he added.
Read the complete article at www.newtimes.co.rw.