Seize all business opportunities – if someone puts an opportunity in front of you – take it!

sugar cane nursery and baobab tree mozambique

This baobab tree is huge. It also serves as the crib hut for the sugar cane nursery workers

Day two of our trip to Mozambique involved a field trip around the proposed sugar project with Uncle Pete and Greg, the on-site agronomist.  When you are married to an agronomist, and are the Director of an environmental consultancy, you get to do things like that.

The project has already established the seed cane nursery. It is a truly impressive sight to see, with the lush, bright green cane popping out of the sparse, red landscape, and the top of a giant baobab tree peeking over the top.

sugar cane nursery and baobab tree mozambique

A giant baobab tree peeks over the sugar cane nursery

Water for this initial stage of the project comes via a pipeline from a channel at the base of the wall of the giant dam nearby – from which the irrigation water for the project will be drawn.  The dam was built in the 1960’s, but has never really been put to any economic use due to the civil war that afflicted Mozambique from 1977 to 1992. There is a pump house near the dam wall which drives the water through a pipeline to the cane nursery.  The pump house is manned by some of the Mozambican project personnel who, showing true entrepreneurial spirit, had set up a small garden next to the pump house, watered from the inlet channel.  I’m not sure whether these guys were using the food grown for their own consumption, or if they were selling it – I didn’t get a chance to ask them.  Full points to them though. They had identified an opportunity and made the most of it.

irrigation pump house

The irrigation pump house – water for the entrepreneurial vegetable gardener

There was an excellent business lesson right there.  Mozambique is a very poor country, and the area we were in would be one of the poorest.  (Mozambique is amongst the 30 poorest nations on earth).

But these people were seizing an opportunity that was available to them. No complaints, no whingeing – just getting on and making the most of the opportunity that presented itself.

Every one of us who owns a business needs to be forever on the alert for any glimmer of opportunity.  

vegetable garden at irrigation pumphouse

The vegetable garden

Sometimes though, we don’t see what is put in front of us because we are so used to doing things a certain way, only serving one market segment, only making one type of product…

What opportunities are passing you by?  Is there a potential vegetable garden in front of you, just waiting for your attention?

By Bronwyn Reid
14 November 2014

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