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Mathews Ngosa

CEO, Poultry Association of Zambia

Zambia

What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

Mathews Ngosa is an animal science professional who has significantly helped the growth of the poultry industry in Zambia.  He has helped to organize the private sector to develop a coordinated subsector, develop standards and regulation that have significantly grown the industry.   As a result of Matthew’s leadership of the poultry industry, Zambia’s poultry industry has grown to be the largest single sub-sector in the agribusiness sector. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • Initially, I wanted to become a medical doctor, not an agriculturist. I  was a member of the Red Cross Society and got involved in first aid activities. I even received a gold medal in first aid. This made me think strongly about becoming a medical doctor. 
  • My interest in agriculture as a career came about after spending time with my grandparents in Northern Province of Zambia where I noticed that the production per unit area was very low despite them using a farming system called “chitemene”.
  •  I was inspired to study on agriculture in order to respond to the challenges experienced by his grandparents and other people in the village.

How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • The institutions of higher learning need to conduct an audit to determine what the industry wants and then find ways to respond to the needs of the industry.
  • Permanent mechanism for observing what is happening in the industry should be put in place.  The curriculum needs to be a moving document that responds to the challenges of industry.
  • Training institutions should make use of visiting lecturers and enable them link students to the industry.
  • The institutions of higher learning should appreciate that the environment is changing and as it does so are opportunities in the agricultural sector.
  • The institutions should move from their current tendencies of preparing students for white collar jobs.  Instead, they have to train students in hands-on skills and that will prepare a student take up farming as a business.
  • Resource allocation to these institutions has been limited, so there is need for the government to improve the budget for these institutions if quality training is to be realized.
  • Maintenance of universities facilities is not good.  Things which were there 30 years ago are still being used currently. What do you expect Zambia can gain?  Right now some institutions are now selling what used to be demonstration fields.  Where are students going to do their experiments?  This is compromising quality of training students get from these institutions.
  • The institution must come up with new ways of funding themselves and stop complaining. They should be proactive and not reactive.
  • They should also look on intake.  Why are they enrolling a lot of students when the facility cannot handle these large numbers of students?
  • Agriculture has not been fully promoted.  It has been marginalized. This needs to change. 
  • The period of practicals must be more than the period of theory as that will equip students with hands-on skills.
  •  Environmental issues are not well tackled in the curriculum. The curriculum should be broader and inter-disciplinary.

Career highlights

  • Executive Director and CEO, Zambia Poultry Association.
  • Agricultural Development Coordinator, Diocese of Ndola.
  • Farm Manager, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines.
  • Hybrid Poultry, Section manager and Feed Mill Manager. 

Educational background

  • Primary school:                     
    • Kakoso Primary School, Chililabombwe.
  • Secondary school:     
    • Chililabombwe Secondary School.
  • University:     
    • BSc, Animal Science, University of Zambia.
    • MSc, Animal Science, University of Zambia.