Tree Nursery Specialist, Sax Bota
Sax Bota is a dedicated farmer and passionate tree nursery specialist living in Kagunda, Chipata. Maintaining the moisture for his newly grafted plants is especially challenging. To overcome this challenge, he places small plastic bags over each plant. This is tedious work and slows down expansion.
His water source is a shallow well. During hot season, the water level drops significantly.
Through the support from AFAS project he hopes to get agro support to improve his water irrigation system by using solar pumps and a water tank. Next to that he would like to put up a tunnel for controlling the moisture for his newly crafted plants
Watch Sax Bota’s interview before he received support from Jacana.
About Sax Bota
Mr. Sax Bota is married and has eight children. During the rainy season, he grows maize, groundnuts and soya beans. Together with his tree growing activities, farming is his main source of income.
His passion in the tree nursery activities are evident from how he loves to talk about trees. His dedication is also seen in his persevering despite the challenges he faces. Because of his interest, he has had opportunities to attend a number of training workshops and training tours in Zimbabwe and China.
He has customers from his local community in Kagunda and surrounding Chipata town. Some species of trees that he grafts and sells are local and exotic varieties of mangos, avocados, citrus fruits, indigenous fruit trees, etc.
Sax Bota is supported by AFAS.
Jacana will provide Sax with the following support:
- Business and financial training,
- A borehole and a solar pump,
- Agro support (partly sponsored agro supplies and inputs) and guidance,
- Bookkeeping guidance.
You can also download the manuals for these trainings:
Guidance and monitoring
In June Chongo visited Sax Bota to guide him on how to make his own bocashi fertilizer which he learned at a previous workshop organized by Jacana. He plans to use this compost to improve the fertility of the growing medium he uses in the poly pots.
Here in the pictures Sax is seen with his children also learning how to make this type of compost.
By this visit, Sax had already acquired materials for building a water tank to help him irrigate his seedlings when Jacana provides him with a solar pump from the project to help him improve his irrigation
In March Sax, was part of a group of participants of Jacana staff and some AFAS beneficiaries who attended a visit to Lutawo Gardens (a reputable tree nursery center in Chipata) organized by Jacana.
Mr Lutawo took the participants around the premises showing them numerous types of plants and trees that the nursery grows but also sharing very insightful information about how to manage a tree growing nursery business, which Sax found particularly useful. For example, he highlighted the importance of first having your own healthy mother stock plants for a successful tree growing business.
Early on at the beginning, when each beneficiary becomes part of the AFAS sponsored project, he/she is required to make a garden layout plan for his or her 50m x 50m plot. Chongo visited Sax in January to guide him in making his plan.
Having a garden layout plan is important because it helps the farmer to plan, organize and maximize his growing space.
In December 2022, Jacana organized a workshop on how to make bio or organic fertilizers. Sax, together with other AFAS sponsored beneficiaries attended this workshop.
Chongo Phiri, field officer from Jacana, taught the participants how to make Lab Serum (liquid fermented organic fertilizer), Berkeley compost (hot compost method), bocashi compost (fermentation method) and compost tea (brewing method of extracting beneficial microorganisms).
Sax attended his first introduction workshop (a 2 day business and financial training) together with the first batch of the “From auto-pilot to champion farmer” project sponsored by AFAS.
Sax learned how to make a business and finance plan. During the training, he made a business plan on expanding his tree growing business, exploring how to identify customers, identifying potential problems customers might face, how to come up with solutions and most importantly how to make a financial plan, among other topics.