Agri-Business is the future
Hakizimana Xavier is one of the GROW program graduates. He received the GROW trainings through RODI, an Implementing Partner of Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze project. GROW is one of HDAK’s programs that allows youth with small income generating activities to boost their revenues by providing necessary skills, through trainings.
Xavier had a small agriculture shop selling seeds, chemical fertilizer and other agricultural tools. Xavier had already been trained in Work Ready Now back in secondary school where he studied Agronomy and Veterinary at EAV Kabutare, which made him the perfect candidate to follow GROW trainings.
“GROW trainings were really timely for me, as I learned a lot of skills that are helping me in my daily business, such as separating my personal money from my shop’s revenues. It means having 2 bank accounts” Xavier said. He states that before that, he would mix his revenues which resulted into him over spending, this good habit of separating revenues helped saving more money. “The other important skills I learned is communication skills and customer care. I listen to my clients more and when they suggest a product I should get; I make sure that they don’t ask about it more than twice” he added.
Xavier showing clients his products
Besides his shop, Xavier works at an agricultural cooperative in his sector. He helps around with selling fertilizers, doing inventory among other things and he gets paid 30,000rwf per month.
Xavier has achieved many things since he graduated from GROW trainings last year in September. “My biggest accomplishment is that I was able to contribute to buy my family’s land worth 800,000 Rwf, I have contributed 150,000 rwf from my savings. I am in in 3 saving groups, I save up to 16,500 Rwf per week, all groups combined” says Xavier.
He has also started doing agri-business. He rent land and cultivates onions and beets, which are the most favorable products in his region. He has started selling his harvest to a bigger market in Kigali. “I am really grateful for all these source of income, I get to take care of myself and my family. My dream is to buy a motorbike by the end of this year, as I have already got my driving license” says Xavier.
As many young people who graduated from HDAK programs, especially the GROW trainings, Xavier appreciates HDAK initiative to support young people through soft skills. He urges young people to join saving groups and to start small as long as they work hard and regularly make savings, thereafter they can reach a greater level.