Alice in Vendaland

Friday, October 9, 2015





This is the woman that’s helping to push agriculture produce in the Harare city center. Alice represents the new face of vendors that is helping many farmers stay afloat. She lives in Epworth and makes her way to our farm in Ruwa every morning. I like profiling people it puts a human element to them and helps in addressing the needs of the customer. With Alice, is a vendor in her late 20s or maybe early 30s, she wants fresh quality produce early in the morning so that she can get to her stall and set it up before her customers come into the city.

 At 5:15 am I hear her shouting through my window:


 Mai Musarurwa mamuka sei?(Good morning Mrs Musarurwa, did you have a good night's sleep).
We guide her to the fields where she harvests her rape, kale and cabbages that she will later sell in town that day. Alice is an intelligent hardworking young woman who clearly understands business because she knows the farm gate prices are lower than buying in Mbare. 

So when she goes out to sell her produce she can sell it cheaper than the other vendors in town. Farmers like myself appreciate Alice because she is consistent, she comes to purchase every day. Not only that, though, she pays in cash. Any business should appreciate the customer that pays in cash! I have learned a lot about marketing and customer service from Alice. 

She is picky when choosing her produce and will tell me:
 Musasiye macabbage achikurisa kudai (Don’t let your cabbage heads grow this big, customers don’t like it.) 
Her constant feedback has probably saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

So remember...look beyond the typical customer like veggie markets, restaurants, supermarkets and the like because there are many other untapped markets available.

Now it's your turn...

If you have found new markets, what are your tips? I'd love to hear from you and so would the other farmers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kundai is the co-founder and co-editor of Emerging Farmer. She is an emerging farmer and entrepreneur. She grows, processes and distributes mushrooms and vegetables and raises pigs on her family's farm. Say hello @kundeezy

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