By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘Hello Zidisha Family, I am Samba Nixon, from the City of Kisumu in Kenya. I am a social entrepreneur, Human rights defender, Urbanist, Food Scientist, Technologist, and Nutritionist for the past 20 years. I am the CEO of Ohigla Group Limited which is a private company incorporated in Kenya to provide agribusiness support services and food value chain addition. Am also the Chairman of the City of Kisumu Urban Areas Association (CKUAA) which is a non-profit civilian body providing oversight on the management of the City of Kisumu and promoting the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact of 2015 and The New Urban Agenda.’
In describing his business, Nixon continues, ‘We aggregate smallholder farmers through agribusiness training, Agro-processing and market access support services. We are currently working with urban farmers to promote vertical farming technologies and urban farming techniques. We are also focused on Small Holder Rice farmers in the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Kenya through value addition in rice processing and packaging, sale, and distribution.’
Since joining Zidisha in mid-2021, Nixon has raised five successful loans. With his first loan of $48, he hoped to improve communication by purchasing an internet router for his office and also setting up bulk SMS services to communicate with rice farmers and customers. Nixon explains, ‘This service shall be used to reach the farmers in a much cheaper way by eliminating the expensive traditional ways of communication we use to disseminate information regarding rice production, markets, and pricing while at the same time informs our customers on the ready quantities of rice available for purchase.’
Overall, Nixon believed that these changes would reduce their communication expenses by 70%.
Shortly thereafter, in July 2021, Nixon used a $73 loan from the Zidisha community to put towards training expenses. The training would require him to purchase a variety of materials including, ‘stationary, refreshments, face masks, sanitizers, and gardening equipment.’
Through this training, they hoped to recruit 50 new urban farmers.
During the remainder of 2021, and into 2022, Nixon was able to secure three additional Zidisha-funded loans. Nixon explained how he hoped to use the funds, sharing, ‘Now we seek funds to purchase 10 packets Certified Seeds, 1,000 Nursery Seedlings and 20 units of Organic Fertilizers for onward sale to the newly recruited farmers. This shall allow farmers to commence planting and production of vegetables immediately and start harvesting from the third week. This shall allow them to have their own food for their households while at the same time getting extra income from the sale of the produce to neighbors.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of a hard-working Zidisha entrepreneur like Nixon? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see how other business owners are changing their lives and communities around the world.
Betsy is a Writer and Editor living in Florida with her husband. She has been writing with Zidisha for 5 years and loves sharing the inspiring stories of Zidisha entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on her personal website.