Nkumbu nnalwimba, Degree of Master, Zambia, graduated in 2014
My name is Nkumbu Nalwimba. I was born in the beautiful country of Zambia, located in Southern Africa. I have had the experience of living in China during the study for my Masters Degree in Rural Development and Management Studies. I was at China Agricultural University from 2012 to 2014.I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Studies from the University of Zambia.
Rural development has enabled me to develop knowledge when it comes to understanding the social world and its dynamics. It is such a diverse subject and is not restrictive which is what I love about it. It feeds into various subject areas of study concerned with the human world and partularly, many of the challenges that my country is currently facing. I learned a lot about the Chinese economic model to development and poverty reduction. The other thing was how China has managed to reduce poverty levels within a short period. In addition, the exposure visits to rural China widened my knowledge about agricultural development in China. The other impressive experience in China that really challenged me is the hard working culture of the Chinese People. I have been working in the development field for some time now and studying in this discipline provided an opportunity to share experiences with an interesting group of both Chinese and International students who have a wide range of skills and knowledge.Futhermore, I particularly found the weekly seminars organized by the college to be very eye opening in terms of doing development work with communities or farmers. Most of the courses done during my masters have been very applicable to the work that I am doing. The International renowned scholars that come to teach or do seminars at the college have such valuable knowledge and research skills.. The conditions in the College of Development Studies were very conducive and the college comes highly recommended to prospective students.
Before my graduation, I was working as a District Marketing Development Officer (DMDO) and am currently working in the same position. Recently, I have had some added duties at my work place. Apart from working as a DMDO,I have also been working as a District Agricultural Planner /Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. This mainly involves doing Policy and Planning work in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. It also involves monitoring and evaluating the various activities and projects being implemented in the Ministry (District) in order to ensure that they are on track. Another duty is to develop and consolidate work plans and reports for the various five departments under the Ministry. Looking at the huge tasks that I have at work, the Masters Degree that I obtained from CAU couldn’t have come at a better time than this. The degree has tremendously helped in my career and has been invaluable in the sense that I actually stand a better chance in terms of more job opportunities. After doing my Masters, am now more confident to undertake different kinds of research work by myself. My research skills have tremendously improved and this has helped me a lot in my career as my job involves a great deal of research work e.undertaking market research, and value chain analysis for various commodities produced by farmers; policy research and analysis.
The economy of Zambia mainly depends on agriculture and Small scale famers in produce most of the crops. Seventy-five percent of Zambians rely of agriculture for their livelihood and income. Most of the poor people are found in rural areas and agriculture has therefore been priotized by the Zambian government as one of the avenues that can help alleviate poverty.
My current job revolves around working with rural small scale farmers who mainly face challenges such as poverty, low agricultural productivity and poor marketing systems for agricultural products.
-My key job responsibility is supervising and undertaking the development and implementation of agribusiness programmes of an agricultural marketing system within the district in order to develop sustainable domestic and foreign markets for agricultural commodities and products. Some specific responsibilities involve training small scale farmers on entrepreneurship development, linking farmers to input and output markets: helping farmers to access finance and providing market information to them. With the valuable knowledge acquired from my Masters degree, I have been able to engage with the rural farmers very well in developmental projects. I am now more equipped to help and work with the farmers in relation to the various interlinked challenges which they face in their quest to gain a livelihood.