The Mill Operator

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

‘My name is Steve Lungu age 24 years Old. I was born in the Earthen Province of Zambia in Petauke district. I was at Petauke Boarding School where I completed my High School. My Father was a Miller, milling flour and mealie meal, I learned the skills from him because I was working with him. Today I also operate a hammer mill where I mill different types of grains as required by customers.’

Today, milling is Steve’s primary source of income. Typically, his customers will come to him to have their grains milled into whatever end product is required. These grains could include: flour, mealie meal, soya cake, and maize bran.

Steve shares, ‘I choose this business the milling business because it is well paying and most farmers bring their goods to be milled at my hummer centre at the main market where I operate from.’

Entering the Zidisha community in early 2021, Steve has been able to raise 6 Zidisha funded loans so far.

Steve managed to raise his first loan of $34 in February 2021. He explained how he would be able to repay his loans sharing, ‘The service I provide is now in high demand because farming has increased and demand to meal grains has increased hence this has given me an opportunity to create more income every day, therefore the generated income I will be servicing and repay the loan.’

The following month, in March 2021, Steve successfully raised $42 and explained his reasons for raising this particular loan, ‘With this am applying for I want to buy another hammer mill for milling a number of grains due to high demand. I have a number of farmers and the general public bring their grain to be milled. Have been running and operating one hammer mill which has been good enough to service my customer. Therefore I should buy a new hammer mill which is operating well. I will be able to service delivery and generate more income. On this Old hammer have been experiencing a number of break downs which has not been profitable.’

With all of Steve’s following loans, he has been able to continue purchasing additional quantities of maize. For example, in April 2021, he raised $173 and shared with lenders, ‘Once again am requesting for the loan to buy more maize for milling mealie meal, the harvest time is here now and demand for maize for making mealie is very high. If I bought more maize for milling mealie meal I will make more profits because the demand is overwhelming, The profits I will make I will use to reinvest and grow the business during the marketing season for maize.’

Recently, on April 28, 2021, Steve took to his Zidisha discussion page and shared this exciting update with his lenders, ‘Dear lender, the previous loan has made me generate huge profits because we are now in the marking season for maize, am receiving a good number of farmers bringing their commodities to make mealie meal and customers are many who are coming at the moment. I have made a good income and I still need to buy more maize. This will allow me to make more mealie meals both breakfast and roller meal. Thank you so much and may God bless you.’

Would you like to make a difference in the life of an inspiring entrepreneur like Steve? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other business owners around the world.

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