Strawberries have for ages sweetened tons of bellies, one of the most popular fruits, it goes without saying that it brings in a lot of cash. Keying into the lucrative side, Bupe Chipili Mulapesi, Founder of “Farm23 Strawberry,” Zambia spends her days growing and supplying a good quality variety of strawberry seedlings.
She looks towards partnering with other smaller agents locally to take it to the international market.
A recipient of the Anakazi Banking Zambian Women of the Year Agriculture Award, Bupe started Farm23 years ago growing organic fresh strawberry fruits with just 20 plants, today it has amazingly grown to a large plantation of 40,000 strawberry plants. She ventured into value addition by producing a Strawberry Fruit Jam Puree.
Bupe Chipili Mulapesi also operates an out-grower scheme which enables her to empower other farmers and farmer groups as well as broaden the sale scale. Through the platform, she mentors and trains them on how to grow organic strawberries, and the members sell their fruit to Farm23.
She has trained and is working with young men and women from her community. The majority of her staff are women, to enable her to fulfill her mission to empower women.
Inspired to start strawberry farming by a female strawberry farmer based in Australia, she decided to launch ahead after witnessing the level of hard work of some women farmers in Zambia as well as all around Africa, in particular Kenya where they have commercialized strawberry farming on a large scale.