I met Nomaliso when she was a high school girl at the Bulawayo Dominican Convent. Even back then you could tell that she was highly intelligent and destined for big things. Her YouTube political commentary on her No B.S webseries was my go-to source for political discussions. She has chartered her way through the Zimbabwean agribusiness and become a household name through her work at Fresh in a Box which she is Founding Director of.
Did you ever see yourself becoming a farmer?
I had never dreamt of being a farmer, at the very least even a farm administrator. Now I cannot imagine not being a Farmer.
You’re a Mathematician, how does that help you as a farmer?
It’s more of a pain than it’s beneficial. I pay a lot of attention to details, and iterate a lot of my processes. Sometimes that frustrates my team but it’s for the better. I have mastered the science of growing a big sized cabbage at a small cost so I guess, Thank you Mr Jowa for Optimization class 🙂
How did you get into farming initially?
As fresh in a box grew, the demand for a supply chain that was consistent grew, and the farmers were not showing up as expected, the farm itself was God’s Plan. Our landlord called us and offered us the place based on the work we were doing, and we jumped on the opportunity.
What are some of the resources that taught you critical lessons about farming?
The INTERNET, everything is found on there, YouTube was a godsend because in farming you learn by seeing, and joining farmer unions helped me a lot.
What’s your typical day like in farm life?
We start the operations at 6AM, we have harvesting and order deployment, move to land preparation, some housekeeping, and later in the day we do planting.
Besides, the current heavy rains, what other factors impede the business?
Rain is most welcome in our work, but resource tracking(fertilizer, chemicals) and management is important, it’s the make or break of our farming business.
What 3 things would you say have contributed to the success of your business thus far?
I would say, paying attention to detail, learning, implementing and living my life more publicly than most would. People buy people!
To what extent would you say your personal brand has impacted the growth of your business?
To a large extent, we believe that the people we are impact our brand and product and how customers interact with it.
Where have you gotten the most support as a young farmer?
The Farmers Union Club (FYFCZ) that I am a member of has supported me the most in my journey as a young farmer.
What’s the hardest thing about farming?
The hardest part of farming is stomaching losses in the field. Farming in itself is like gambling, the hardest bit is always beating the house.
What are some of the associations that you are in specifically for farmers?
Federation of Young Farmers Club of Zimbabwe is the organisation that I am affiliated with.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring farmers?
If you have no intention of being in the field yourself,don’t venture into farming. Capital is everything, farming is possible with bootstrapping but it’s painful, you may quit before you finish your first season.
What can be done to improve market linkages for Zimbabwean farmers?
A disruption in how customers consume, and creating markets that are farmer-centric than they are customer-centric.
It’s 2023 next year, will we see a return of No B.S?
While I enjoy political analysis and banter, 2023 I am looking towards expanding the Fresh in a Box business across the region. That will make No B.S impossible to pull off. Soooooo No BS come 2023… LOL