WHEN he got seven ungraded results at O’level three years ago, Ray Saureyi thought it was the end of his once promising life.
REPORT BY MOSES CHIBAYA
But now he has realised that, though important, education is not the only way out of poverty.
Saureyi of Manduzuma farm in Karoi, decided to venture into tobacco farming because he had no other survival alternative.
“I completed my O’levels three years back and I got seven ‘U’s. My father wanted me to repeat but I was not interested,” said Saureyi. “Two of my classmates passed with flying colours, yet we were taught by the same teachers and we used to read and have discussions together, yet I failed.”
The 22-year-old man does not regret taking up tobacco farming as it has transformed his life for the better.
“In 2010, I started growing tobacco and I managed to buy a Mazda B22 which I used to transport fertiliser for other farmers,” said Saureyi. “Last year, I managed to buy a residential stand in Karoi and this lorry, an Isuzu Elf.”
Unlike other new farmers, who do not keep business records, Saureyi keeps track of all business transactions to enable him to see if he is making a profit or loss.
This year, Saureyi planted 2 hectares of tobacco — which on average — would give him 6 000 kg.
Every other two or three days, Saureyi transports 20 bales of tobacco to the auction floors using the truck he bought from tobacco proceeds.
He charges US$15 per bale from Karoi to Harare.
Tobacco production has also enabled Saureyi to venture into other projects like poultry rearing.
Over the Easter holidays, the youthful farmer sold 300 birds and he could not even meet the demand in his area.
Each bird was going for US$6.