WPF visits Hamara team in Zimbabwe
The WPF team took advantage of a decline in COVID-19 cases in Sub-Saharan Africa to travel to Zimbabwe this month. We went to visit our partners on the ground, Hamara, who are implementing the APMI model with farmers throughout Zimbabwe (and are also growing into Zambia!).
Though the trip was short, we made the most of our time together. We engaged company leadership in both Harare and Bulawayo to understand their progress and work through challenges they are seeing on the ground. We checked in on Mother Units and Small-Scale Producers to see how the chickens are performing. We dug deep into data the Hamara field team is collecting to strategize how to use this information to improve APMI management. And finally, with an eye on growth, we brainstormed together how their team can streamline their roll-out while maintaining high-quality support for APMI farmers.
Social media is a powerful tool to reach a wide audience and Hamara’s use of WhatsApp and Facebook has really catalyzed demand for their dual-purpose birds, helping to create a steady stream of APMI customers. Unfortunately, as dual-purpose birds grow in popularity, we often see APMI-imitators grow in number too, peddling dual-purpose-wannabes. Zimbabwe is confronting this challenge now.
They say mimicry is the highest form of flattery, but home-bred birds just don’t have the same productive capacity as genuine dual-purpose products. And when a household only has a few dollars to invest, we want to ensure they are not duped by lookalikes; we want to ensure that their investment is in the bird that will give them the most bang for their buck. Luckily, the Hamara team is well-positioned to get ahead of this trend and attract APMI-imitators to become certified APMI-farmers. Hamara seems poised for what will hopefully be an exciting period of growth.
We are very grateful to the Hamara team for their generous hospitality and look forward to our next visit to Zimbabwe!