Faced with the need to make a livelihood to provide for his family and the dream of owning a home with basic necessities like water and electricity, Remy Barayavuga took a risk in 2011 by taking a loan from a local association supporting farming through micro-credit, renting land, recruiting workers and cultivating tomatoes and onions. Four years down the line, this same business helped Remy achieve his dream of paying off his loan, building a home with running water and a solar panel and provide clothing and food for his family. Furthermore it benefited his local community by creating jobs for 10 employees and providing goods that previously could only be obtained through commercial province centres, notably Bujumbura and Nyanza Lac.
Association Muso has thrived due to the trainings provided by SPARK that Remy has taken in modern farming, financial management, administration and coaching. These trainings have enabled him to access micro-credit to pay his workers and cover rent and transport costs. Despite having paid off his debts and currently enjoying the returns of his investment, Remy still has ambitions of expanding his business by purchasing land to increase his annual production and reduce on rent costs.
What is your personal ambition?
At the moment I plan on taking a course that will train me how to protect the crops I cultivate from diseases. Furthermore my ambition is to partner with another farmer or two to start a processing unit. This way I will be able to sell products deriving from tomatoes and not solely depend on selling tomatoes during the harvest season as during the harvest period prices decrease and the goods are sold at low prices.
What impact do you see your business making?
My business is environmentally friendly in that we make minimal use of mineral fertilizers and prioritize using organic matter. Also what sets my business apart from other agribusinesses in my region is that I take a monocultural approach instead of polyculture which is the norm here. This allows me to increase production by making rotations of crops per season thus creating more jobs and supporting families for a longer period in the year.
How do you see the future of your business?
I see my business increasingly contributing to solving the problem of high unemployment in my region and I also see it being an example for other entrepreneurs to be more innovative.