Empowering Small-Scale Farmers: The Ethical Holdings Journey Towards Sustainable Impact

David Machingaidze, Chairman at Ethical Holdings, shares his vision of empowering small-scale farmers and transforming Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector. Learn about his dedication to sustainability and social impact, driving significant positive change within the tobacco industry.

“Ethical Leaf Tobacco began as a social entrepreneurship initiative aimed at supporting small-scale tobacco farmers. I have been involved in the tobacco industry since 2000, and during that time, small-scale tobacco farming was often overlooked and mistreated. I had a personal affinity for these farmers and saw an opportunity to make a positive impact. Partnering with a major tobacco company, we secured financing to develop these farmers and improve crop production. This initiative grew into Ethical Holdings, and within two years, we expanded into cotton production with the establishment of the Zimbabwe Cotton Consortium, now one of the country’s top cotton producers. Additionally, we ventured into microinsurance with Ethical Micro Insurance, supporting our tobacco production operations. Our focus has always been on creating a sustainable business with social impact beyond profit. We took on the challenge of financing high-risk farmers, paving the way for others to recognize their potential. This approach has significantly contributed to the increased tobacco production in Zimbabwe, with a substantial portion coming from smallholder farmers”, says David Machingaidze.

“Our long-term goal is to pursue value addition opportunities, aiming for higher returns that can benefit both our business and the farmers we work with. By providing support such as affordable inputs and investment in yield improvement, we aim to create a positive cycle of production and prosperity. We believe in the potential of bottom-of-the-pyramid philosophies and are committed to playing our part in empowering farmers to unlock substantial value. This mutually beneficial approach allows us to maintain profitability and sustain our growth trajectory”, he adds.

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