2 Jun, 2017

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Mwenechanya in his coffee farm in Nkhatabay
Unemployment is one of the challenges affecting many young people in the country. Most tertially education graduates aim at being employed as opposed to venturing into businesses. Looking into this LUANAR introduced entrepreneurship studies to all its students that they are fully equipped with entrepreneurial skills.

Frank Mwenechanya is one of the shining examples who together with his three friends established a Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) soon after graduating from Bunda College now LUANAR. As an Irrigated Agriculture Service provider FISD help clients which mainly include government, Non-Governmental Organisations, small and large scale farmers in Planning and Implementation of Irrigation Projects.

“To achieve our goals FISD limited Company has a construction department, Irrigation Boreholes drilling Company, FISD Fund for providing loans to farmers willing to venture into irrigated Agriculture, FISD trading where we sell solar products mainly solar water pumps for Irrigation and domestic usage, and FISD Farming Department where we buy and develop idle estates towards irrigated agriculture, notable one being Thyolansanu Estate where solar pumping is demonstrated and agribusiness practiced,” said Mwenechanya.

Mwenechanya said there is a strong connection between what they studied at Bunda and what they are now doing.

“Actually at FISD we are Four directors, Moses Chirambo, Arthur Mpama and Kondwani Nanchukwa, all of us are Bunda College products. Three of us pursued Irrigation Engineering and one director studied family Science. You may therefore directly observe that all the services we are offering have direct link to Irrigated Agriculture,” he said.

He said It is possible for Bunda graduates to embark on self-employment as the programmes offered at Bunda are mostly hands on and as such makes it easy for someone to employ oneself.

“There is nothing perculiar in FISD. Actually FISD was established without any initial capital the only asset that enabled us to establish the company was the hands on knowledge we obtained from Bunda College,” said the Bunda alumni.

When asked on why his organization decided to donate a solar irrigation pump to their former college farm, Mwenechanya said the donation was done as an appreciation of hands own knowledge they obtained from the institution.

“As a company we also strongly believe use of solar energy can play a bigger role in ensuring Implementation of Irrigated Agriculture in both areas close to surface water sources and areas without rivers rather relying on ground water sources which demands a considerable amount of energy. The presence of the solar pumping system within Bunda Farm offers research opportunities and mindset change to students whom we expect to be self-employed and buy the solar pumping products from FISD,” he said.

“I personally do not regret studying at Bunda now LUANAR as the college opened more business opportunities to me. Apart from FISD the college gave me confidence to start establishing a coffee plantation in Nkhatabay and an Animal farm in Salima which would not be the case with other disciplines you may consider to pursue,” said Mwenechanya.

“Knowledge is powerful and very vital in any endeavor and anything I am pursuing is directly linked to what I learnt while at Bunda,” he concluded.

Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur like Mwenechanya, Chirambo, Mpama and Nanchukwa? You know where to go….LUANAR… where knowledge Innovation and excellence is under one roof. To widen access to tertiary education, LUANAR has two other campuses NRC Campus and City Campus. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) has also been introduced in some programmes just to ensure everyone has an opportunity to study at LUANAR.

By Patricia Ngwale