345 installments • 52%
My name is Florence Wanjiku, born in Kiambu County in central Kenya. I come from a family of 8 where I am the 6th born. My parents (both deceased) were small scale farmers who worked very hard to provide for the big family. I am a mother of 3 children - all boys aged 25, 17 and 14. The last two are still in school and the first born just cleared college early this year.
I went to local schools for my primary and secondary education and later joined high school for my advanced level. I then did a course in accounts and I later secured a job as a civil servant.
I also do livestock keeping to supplement my income and this enables me to meet my household expenses. I have kept dairy cows through zero grazing method due to the small size of my land.
I am a staunch Christian and a very active member of my church.
As stated above, I am a livestock farmer who uses zero grazing method. This is putting the cows in a shed and feeding them within the enclosure. I normally feed them with napier grass and wheat bran which I source from local sellers.
Due to the small size of my piece of land, I normally buy the grass from my neighbors who have are in this business. We cut the grass manually and transport it on my back due to lack of other modes of transport.
The terrain of this place is very rough and the best mode of transport is using a donkey. I have planned to buy a donkey for this purpose but due to competing needs, I have always shelved the idea until now that I have this opportunity to get credit from Zidisha.
I am currently keeping Friesian dairy cows which are famous for being prolific milk producers. However, the flip-side is that they are heavy feeders and not ideal when feed resources are limited. I normally buy fodder for them since I keep them in an enclosure within my small piece of land. This makes it an expensive venture especially during the dry season when the fodder is scarce.
After seeking advice from dairy experts, I was advised to change from Friesian breed to Ayrshire which, although produces less milk (about 20% less) it is not a heavy feeder and this makes it an ideal choice in my case. I was informed that this breed eats about 40% less than Friesian and this has greatly advised my decision to gradually change to Ayshire.
I am expecting the whole process to take five years but to start with, I need to buy an Ayshire heifer and this will cost me USD350. I am expecting this heifer to calf within one year’s time and thus start the next phase of this transition. I am counting on you to jump-start this process and I am optimistic that you will do it again just as you did when I came to you for the first loan. Thank you.
May 11, 2015