Poultry Farming is Lucrative, Urges SACCO Member

In a society where chicken meat is costly, investing in poultry farming becomes a lucrative business as Amos Kiprotich and his wife Milka, members of DOVE Springs SACCO, can testify.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe couple acquired a loan from the SACCO and invested in poultry farming. To ensure they stand out among other competitors, Mr and Mrs Tanui reared Kuroiler Breed that originated from Arizona University and that have desirable features compared to other local breeds.

The couple explains that their investment is a good source of family income in that each hen lays an average of 200 eggs that they sell at Ksh 30 each. They add that they hatch the eggs too and sell a one-day chick at Ksh 100.

“Through the loan, we were able to build chicken houses, pay the staff managing the poultry farm and also buy vaccines for the hens,” adds Amos. In addition, they have been able to buy more land and even invest in rabbit keeping.

With their second loan, Mr and Mrs Tanui bought a motorbike, and have employed a driver to ferry passengers and also transport eggs to the markets.

Amos and Milka hope to acquire another loan soon and be able to buy their own incubatorSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA to reduce on the cost of leasing it out which is expensive. They also plan to invest in livestock farming.

Mr and Mrs Tanui urge those who are hesitant to join savings groups to take a step and register, since this type of group is relevant even to those with a low-income. “Through DOVE Springs SACCO, one is able to acquire a loan with a very low and affordable interest,” they conclude.

 

By Kenneth Irungu

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Loans have Changed Our Family Life

“When we acquired a motorbike with the help of loan from DOVE Springs SACCO, our lives have changed,” says Esther Ongaya, a social worker at Baba Nyumbani children’s home in Kitale.SANY3615.JPG

Esther, who joined the SACCO in 2012, has taken two loans. She was among the first members to acquire a personal development loan, and used it to pay a deposit toward buying a piece of land. This made it possible for her to move out of the rental house where she had lived with her family for more than 10 years.

The couple is now getting much from their farm where they have planted vegetables and sugarcane for sale. Esther also invested in poultry. “We have a tender for supplying poultry to the nearby schools,” adds Esther.

After repaying the loan, Esther applied for another loan, which they used to buy a motorbike to ferry passengers. They also used part of the loan as capital to start selling used clothes in nearby market.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Besides being used as a taxi, Esther notes that the motorbike has improved their life greatly in that her husband takes their children every day to school and transports her to work.

“I am grateful that through the loan, my husband now generates income daily and our life as family has changed drastically,” she declares. She adds that her salary alone would not have enabled her to do all the things they have done in their family.

By: Kenneth Irungu

Small Loans with Big Impact

“It is not so difficult to be self-empowered,” argues Angela Kung’u, the Loans Officer of DOVE Springs SACCO*. She explained that women are among those being encouraged to join saving-and-credit groups. Angela noted that a Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) helps people develop a ‘saving culture’ and save on monthly basis. Saving enables people, and especially women, to raise their living standards and that of their families.

According to Angela, SACCOs are beneficial in that they bring services closer to the people. Average income earners are able to acquire assets for their homes or establish self-supporting businesses, and pay the loans slowly with a very minimal interest rate.

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The SACCO office at Nairobi

Submission of monthly deposits and loan repayment is done through a cell-phone-driven banking system known as Paybill. “The new technology makes it easy for people to save from any region within the country,” Angela explains.

Joab Onditi, Marketing Officer, noted that the SACCO has an economic impact on its members through loans that they have acquired. “We urge members to continue saving and take loans for their economic welfare,” he advised.

Joab noted that the loans offered by the SACCO have the very low interest rates compared to banks and other financial institutions. He also added that it is easier and faster to acquire a loan, usually processed within few days, compared with the long process in banks.

Many of the loans are relatively small, but have a huge impact in changing the economic landscape for small businesses and families alike.

*DOVE SPRINGS SACCO is a project of Springs of Africa.

By: Kenneth Irungu

DANIEL’S SEEDS

“Mommy, don’t throw that away,” I heard Daniel shouting after I had tossed a mango pit into the compost bin.

“But I am not throwing it away,” I objected. “I put it into the compost like I’m supposed to.” I was trying to explain that I had done the correct, environmentally-friendly, thing.

“No, I want to keep it. I want you to keep all the seeds from this house,” he declared, showing me a specific bowl in the kitchen. “Put them here.”

“Okay,” I agreed, mostly to stop him from bothering me. But the next day I still threw a mango pit into the compost bin.

This time, after scolding me rigorously, he went through the compost — retrieving every form of pit or seed. “Why are you doing this?” I asked Daniel.

“I want to plant them,” he said, very agitated, as if to say, “Daaa — don’t you know why I want them?”

“Okay,” I agreed again.

The next morning I was cutting a papaya. Of course, I put the seeds into the compost bin.

“Mommy, I TOLD YOU!!” Daniel was not amused.

“Surely not these,” I argued. “You don’t want to plant these, do you?!” He insisted that he did.

At that point I decided that as a responsible mother, I needed to give my 25-year-old son a good lecture. “You know, you can’t just take a seed and then — ‘voila‘ — it becomes a tree. It is not that easy. I mean, I know you want to do a good thing, but that will need a lot of work. You have to get it ready, then plant it, then wait, and even then it will probably never sprout.” I thought I was protecting my naive son from future disappointment. He had nothing to say.

So it continued. I tried to get into the habit of keeping the seeds in the bowl. I complained when they started to get smelly, but Daniel would always collect them anyway and take them outside to the area where he had started a nursery.

Soon after, we had a similar “go round” about used containers. Daniel wanted me to keep containers of every kind: old milk cartons, yoghurt cups, bread bags, honey jars — anything and everything. I grudgingly obliged.

About three months later, Daniel beckoned me. “Mommy, come see.” To be honest, I had not ventured out to the nursery, and it was hidden behind some bushes, not easily noticeable. I could not believe my eyes: about 200 seedlings in assorted containers (yes, old milk cartons, yoghurt cups. . . . not a single one had been wasted)! Others were wrapped in stapled bags made from the used plastic that had been removed from our greenhouse due to wind damage.

Kijani donated 200 tree saplings to Trees for Indigenous Health _ Culture

The pick up carries away 200 seedlings that Kijani donated to Trees For Indigenous Health Culture

“These are avacado,” he explained. Those were the most impressive, standing almost 2 feet high. “These are mangoes, and these are papaya,” he continued. There were also jacaranda, cypress and other varieties planted from seeds he had taken from trees around our home. He had spent almost nothing, except his time, to nurture this impressive nursery.

This is just a taste of the inspiration, vision, determination and entrepreneurship behind KIJANI: Forests for Change. To date, Daniel’s little home-grown nursery has donated nearly 1000 seedlings to organizations and orphanages in Kenya, including Kenya Forest Working Group, Trees for Indigenous Health and Culture (TICAH), Children’s Garden and IDEAS for Kenya. Kijani has over 2000 seedlings at their Marmanet project site growing from these seeds. Planting continues.

I definitely stand corrected — a big “well done!” to Kijani. (And you can be sure that now I save every single seed!)

by Diane Omondi