Sebastião Jaquisson is a 32 years old farmer and produce trader who, lives in Chiuta village, Mecanhelas district, Niassa province. Jaquisson cultivates maize, sweat potato, and tobacco, and is involved in trading vegetables (buys and sells).
Jaquisson joined Otumiha project in 2017 as Community Agribusiness Entrepreneur (CAE). The project trained Jaquisson on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), post-harvest management and market related issues. In the 2017/18 cropping season, Jaquisson used improved varieties of maize and soybean to establish demonstration plots in his farm. In that season, Jaquisson assisted about 250 farmers through training on GAP, post-harvest management, and by sharing experiences in the field days organized locally. Besides, with the additional training received, he also worked as an aggregator of produce for his farmer network. An interesting fact is that, in 2018/19, Jaquisson planted a demonstration plot of soybean on his farm for the first time. He and his fellow farmers were very much impressed with results attained by the soybean demonstration results. Thereafter, everyone started demanding for soybean seeds to grow in their own farms.
In 2017 Jaquisson joined the Otumiha project – funded by AGRA – as a Community Agribusiness Entrepreneur (CAE) and got involved in the management of Demonstration plots of Maize and Soybean, and in GAP technology dissemination to farmers, assisting 250 farmers.
As a CAE e started promoting product aggregation among the farmers assisted, linking farmers with product buyers. A very important event for the life of Jaquisson and the farmers he assisted was the success of the soybean demo and the good price it fetched, and decided to get involved with soybean production in 2018/19.
With the growing interest in soybean seed an imminent problem appeared. Chiuta had no agro-dealer and the nearest agro-dealer was based in Tóbuè village, 25 km away from Chiuta. This was aggravated because the Tóbuè´s agro dealer was not selling soybean seeds. Therefore, the only place to get soybean seeds was in Cuamba, 35 km away from Chiuta. This was a great challenge for Jaquisson and his farmers’ network.
On the other hand, Jaquissone realized that there was an opportunity to sell soybean seeds, because demand was there.
The fact that his village had no agro-dealers, the nearest agro-dealers was 25 km away and sold no soybean seed, and it was only found 35 km away in Cuamba, rather than becoming an unsurmountable problem, Jaquisson saw it as an opportunity and decided to become an AGRO-DEALER.
He approached Otumiha and applied and received a matching grant to begin his business as an agro-dealer. Today he sells seeds and other inputs and in the short life of his business already made 8000 MT profit.
Jaquisson had a successful application for USD 500 matching grant facility offered by Otumiha to become an agro-dealer to respond the demand for soybean seed in his village. As Jaquisson fulfilled two major selection criteria: (i) having a facility to use as retail shop and (ii) experience of managing small business, he was approved and trained on input storage and basic business skills. Then, he became an agro dealer.
Currently, Jaquisson is a CAE and agro-dealer. He trains his farmers as well he sells inputs such as soybean, maize and vegetable seeds, pesticides and other inputs. Since Jaquisson started his input business, he already made a 8,000 MT ($120) profit.