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Nelito Chavanha, a beneficiary of the Agro-Jovem programme, has been selected by Gapi management as the Best Young Entrepreneur of the 2018-19 agricultural season, awarding him the “Combatant for Development” prize.
The initiative, which marks the fourth anniversary of the launch by Mozambique’s head of state of the Agro-Youth programme on June 22, 2015, rewards young entrepreneurs who stand out for their performance in implementing new business ventures and repaying the credit which they have accessed.
Nelito, despite having no real estate collateral, in 2017 secured 670,000 meticais in financing at less than half market interest rates, which he invested in climate-resilient production infrastructure, as well as in the acquisition of technologies for production.
The 43,000 meticais prize represents the return of part of the capital which he has already reimbursed to Gapi, and is intended to swell his own available funds.
Nelito is recovering from the partial destruction of his infrastructure caused by Cyclone Idai, but nevertheless managed to comply with his financial obligations to Gapi-SI.
Aged 33 and a resident of Vandúzi district, Nelito specialised in Agro-business at the Polytechnic Institute of Manica. In 2013, he started producing and selling seedlings, as well as promoting production by providing seed and technical assistance to various local producers.
With the financial assistance he received, his company built three greenhouses and a sales station, and now numbers among its clients one of the main national supermarket chains.
“My main goals are to pay off the financing and get international certification for my products” Nelito says. “One of the strategic differentials is that customers who pass through our point of sale have the opportunity to harvest the vegetables directly from the field and thus have a direct contact with the productive process,” he explains.
Since its launch four years ago, the Agro-Youth Programme, which is supported by DANIDA, has funded the creation of 119 companies created by 272 young people working in agriculture, horticulture, agro-processing, poultry farming, sale of inputs, fish farming, aquaculture, renewable energies and sale and processing of meats. Using DANIDA funds, Gapi has already granted companies subsidised credit of more than US$1.1 million.Source: Gapi