Ali Maulidi was convinced that there was an opportunity to make money from farming and selling chillies at the end of sensitization meetings conducted by AWILI in collaboration together with local authorities’ group village headman Chipini in 2021. In the past decade he used to grow maize and do fishing in chia lagoon area. Considering that effects of overfishing Ali tried to diversify his source of revenue this birds eye chilies cultivation after several attempts in farming other value chains. Chilies has turned out to be the new gold for Ali.
Ali Maulidi was 28 when he attended Agwenda Women Input Loan Initiative (AWILI) program sensitization and registration meeting. One (1) year later, he has remained a darling to the program. Now, 29 years old, Ali from Nkhanga Club, Chimpini village, group village headman Ntchalamira, Traditonal Authority Ntchalamira in Zidyana EPA, Nkhotakota District. He has already identified land to farm chilies during the upcoming farming season for expansion of chilli production based on the wonderful business experience from the current season; from the sales of 79kg chilies to Agwenda, he managed to purchase a push bike.
”In 2021/2022 farming season I joined AWILI program and got 300g of chilli seed and harvested 79kg (with zero chemical, fertilizer or any additional input my field), I paid back 3kg and sold the 76kgs to the same company and made a tremendous profit, I plan to expland and double my sales this year. I have convinced more than 200 people in my village to join AWILI as their model is practical and considers the farming calandar”, he explained.
He is confident that he will make enough money to buy a cattle and use the remaining money to feed his househould. He is renting 2 acres of land this season to increase acreage for chillies cultivation. Using sales proceeds from this year, the youthful man has bought a bicycle and renovated his house.
”When i first joined the program and decided to get into chilli production most people laughed at me and doubted me beacuse the chilli can not be consumed and kept on telling me that i would not find a market for it not knowing that i have a market contract with AWILI”. he narrated ”With AWILI, we have been able to form more groups and involve more youth in agriculture, specifically in chilli production” he said.
From the Chillies farming trainings provided by AWILI, Ali is confident that chilli production will soon become the main source of income in most of the families.He fervently believes that soon his farm will be one of the biggest sources of employment in his area, for now, he calls on other younger people to help him in preparing his newly extended land in readiness of the upcoming chilies season.
Agwenda Investment partnered with Ripple Africa in helping communities surrounding chia lagoon to restore fisheries for sustainable livelihoods by having an alternative source of finances in their home through Chilies farming.