Lilian Mlambo was a peasant farmer but after participating in SNV's ENSURE project she is diversifying her livelihoods from farming to retailing.
“Before ENSURE’s intervention we did not have any source of income, we were not able to feed our families and send our children to school,” says Lilian Mlambo. Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise (ENSURE) project is a five-year USAID-funded project being implemented by a consortium of organisations, including SNV. SNV provides technical leadership for value chain financing, market linkages and farming as a business under the strategic objective of helping to increase households’ net assets.
Lilian Mlambo owns a 0.4 hectare plot in the 26 ha Chibuwe D Extension Irrigation Scheme. ENSURE rehabilitated the irrigation scheme allowing the 64 plot holders to grow crops all year round. Mrs Mlambo (42) has taken farming to greater levels in the two of the 5 value chains (groundnuts and sugar beans) supported by ENSURE. Perseverance, dedication and hard work have paid dividends. Over the last 3 seasons, she has harvested on average 1.9 tonnes of sugar beans and a tonne of ground nuts a year. With her income, she bought a grocery shop stand and has started constructing a shop in order to diversify her livelihoods.
“I am very happy because through ENSURE's trainings I became a businesswoman and l am now focusing on completing my shop” says Lilian Mlambo in a jovial mood. The shop has two compartments aiming at a grocery and a butchery. The butchery, she says, will provide a market for ENSURE smallholder farmers participating in the poultry, cattle and goat value chains.