Ruramiso Mashumba is a young female farmer from Marondera, Zimbabwe. She started farming in 2012 on a farm she inherited from her parents. At the time, the farm was just a bush with no equipment and the necessary infrastructure.
In 2013, she started growing snap peas for export to the European Union and Africa. She has since expanded her operations and now grows a variety of horticulture crops, indigenous organic grains that she mills into our under the brand Mnandi organic and traditional, brown rice as well as commercial maize. Ruramiso is also involved in forestry – in 2014, she partnered with Sustainable Afforestation Association, a Zimbabwean-based organisation, and planted 100ha of gum trees. She is also venturing into seed production after securing a contract with a renowned company to grow 30ha seed maize and 20ha seed millet.
Her interest in farming started while she was working in the United Kingdom for one of the leading agricultural equipment companies.
It was there that she realised the potential of equipment and technology in transforming agriculture. This led her to commit to change the image of agriculture, and she embarked on farming upon her return to Zimbabwe. Ruramiso has never looked back since she started farming and is continuously looking for ways to improve and grow her farming business. The many opportunities that she knows exist in agriculture keep her interested in remaining a farmer.
Ruramiso holds a BA Degree in Agriculture Business Management from the University of West England (UWE). She is the National Chairperson of The Zimbabwe Farmers Union Young Farmers’ Club to which she was elected in 2014. Ruramiso also founded Mnandi Africa, an organisation that helps rural woman to combat poverty and malnutrition by empowering and equipping them with skills and knowledge in agriculture, nutrition, markets and technology; assisting them to access affordable and effective agro technology through an input-sharing program; and collectively purchasing and selling goods and services. Mnandi’s vision is to ultimately end hunger and poverty.
Her work was noticed by AGCO and she was invited to attend their Africa Summit in Berlin in 2015. After sharing her story, she won an award for in uence and leading woman toward mechanisation in Africa. In 2016, she was selected to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which is the agship program of Barak Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Ruramiso was selected to be a panelist at the World Food Prize in Iowa and gave input on the importance of nutrition in Africa.
She also became a member of the global farmer network and was nominated for The Zimbabwe Businesswoman award. She has also been featured in a number of publications, including The Zimbabwean Farmer magazine and also on the New Alliance for food and nutrition publication, which is endorsed by the African Union.
On attracting and keeping young people in farming, she believes that there should be efforts tobrand agriculture as a success and showcase opportunities in the value chain.