Friday, April 19, 2024

Profiles

Ruramiso Mashumba: Trailblazing and Award Winning Farmer

Ruramiso Mashumba is a trailblazing farmer and founder of Mnandi Africa, an organization that helps rural woman combat poverty and malnutrition. 


Ruramiso is a young female farmer from Marondera, Zimbabwe and founder of Mnandi Africa, an organization that helps rural woman combat poverty and malnutrition. She holds a BA Degree in Agriculture Business Management from the University of West England (UWE). After completing her degree, Ruramiso worked for one of the United Kingdom’s leading agriculture equipment companies. It was during that time Ruramiso realized how the use of equipment and technology could transform agriculture. She returned to Zimbabwe with a vision to change the image of agriculture in Zimbabwe. In 2012 she relocated to the farm she inherited from her parents and began her journey as a farmer. The farm was bare, with no equipment, but today it is filled with tractors, planting equipment, centre pivot and crop protection equipment.

In 2013 she decided to venture into horticulture crops for export to the European Union and Africa. The following year saw her partnering with Sustainable Afforestation Association to address deforestation in her community by planting one hundred hectares of gum trees. She later expanded into farming a variety of horticulture crops and indigenous organic grains. She milled the grains into flour under the brand Mnandi organic and traditional brown rice and commercial maize. In 2017 Mashumba received a fifty-hectare contract to grow seed for Seed Co, an industry leader whose mandate is to breed, produce, process and market hybrid crop seeds.

Through Mnandi Africa, Ruramiso is empowering and equipping women with skills and knowledge in agriculture, nutrition, markets, and technology. The organization also assists them to access affordable and effective agro-technology through an input-sharing program. Thereby helps them to collectively purchase and sell their goods and services. In 2017, she pitched her organization to Echoing Green in New York and won their fellowship that offers support and seed funding to start-ups. Her application was one of the thirty that won out of a pool of three thousand globally. Mnandi Africa aims to, ultimately, end hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe.

The trailblazing farmer holds several accolades and achievements to her name that is testimony to the outstanding work she is doing in the Zimbabwean agricultural sector:

  • In 2014 she was elected the National chairperson of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union making her the first woman to hold the post.
  • The following year she got recognition from AGCO and was invited to attend their Africa Summit in Berlin. Her story earned her an award for influence and leading woman toward mechanization in Africa.
  • In 2016, Ruramiso participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of Barak Obama’s, Young African Leaders Initiative.
  • She was also appointed as a panellist at the World Food Prize in Iowa and gave input on the importance of nutrition in Africa.
  • She also became a member of the global farmer network in 2016 and was nominated for the Zimbabwe businesswoman award.
  • The talented farmer graced the cover of the Zimbabwean Farmer magazine, and the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition publication, which is endorsed by the African Union.
  • She was also selected as vice-chairperson for the Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions youth ambassadors for the region.
  • In 2018 she won the iconic African award for farming and agriculture. She went on to attend the CRSIPcon, in Boston organized by the broad institute of technology (MIT) and Harvard to give input on what access to technology would mean to small scale farmers. The same year she hosted the African Development Bank at her farm.
  • 2019 she was selected for the Cornell Alliance for science fellowship
  • She won the JCI top 10 young person award
  • In 2020 she won the Women In Africa award which recognizes top women in Africa
  • and overall agriculture award and was featured on TV 5 in Paris
  • She was also named Kleckner recipient by the Global farmer Network
  • In 2019 she addressed heads of states at the United Nations headquarters in New York
  • She is a member of the FAO Rome based council for young people in agriculture
  • She has spoken several times at the World food prize and FAO headquarters on issues to do with access to food for all and supporting women farmers.
  • In 2019 she Co-founded women who farm Africa, a leadership development program for women farmers with her co-founders based in Zambia and Ghana. In 2020 they launched their first workshops on Maize productions their target was to empower the very marginalized rural women farmers
  • In 2020 she was named one of the top 1000 entrepreneurs in Africa
  • She also won Overall Women Young Farmer in Zimbabwe and was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture in Zimbabwe.
  • This 2021 she was named one of the 40 under 40 Most Influential Young Leaders in Zimbabwe by the Institute of Corporate Directors Zimbabwe
  • She is a member of the executive businesswoman network organized by the USA, UK and Australian Embassy in Zimbabwe

 

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