Kanam B, Doho Beach, Kenya
284 weekly installments • 88%
I was born on the 25th. December 1980. I grew up in the village under the care of my grandmother. Having my old grandma as my guardian angel at that young age really prepared me for the life that was ahead of me. At the age of nine years and in class three, I had started to learn how to be independent.I always looked at my grandmother and sympathised with her and could not ask anything from her, not even school books or uniform. To get money for buying the things that I needed, I would accompany the older kids in the village to some sugarcane plantations about 14kms away. We would wake up very early so as to reach the farms before sunrise. We would buy sugarcane which we later sold in the village and made profit.I would buy sugarcane at 20 shillings and sell for between 80-100 shillings. I did this during holydays and by the time schools were opened, I would have enough money to buy my school books, uniform and give the remaining to my old grandma which she used to buy food. So early in life I learnt how to cook, fetch water from the lake and the river and to fetch firewood from the bush. I even tilt our shamba(garden) very well.
I did my primary education and passed. My aunt was impressed with my perfomance in school so she paid for my secondary education.
After my secondary education, I moved to the city to look for a job. I got a job with company X as a messanger. I registered and took a course in accounting. I worked for the company for nine years. In those years I learnt the art of doing business. Doing the same thing at the same place everyday over the years became abit boring so I quit my job. I needed to do something more challenging. I registered my company, did some marketing and got my first orders faster than I had imagined. A problem then arose in the name of WORKING CAPITAL. I had to think fast and came up with the idea of including farming as part of my business. Farming needed less capital to start and I was assured of growth.
I am a husband and a father to a five year old boy in class one. During my free time, I do exercise and read books. Everyday at dawn I either run 15kms or train with light weights before I start my work. Doing exercise has made my ability to work in the farm look very easy. I dont supervise the people who work for me, instead I work with them. I have also learnt much just by reading.
Cyrrently I am involved mainly in agribusiness. I plant tomatoes, watermelon and vegetable e.g kales in a reasonable quantity. This I do under flood irrigation. I have got land through lease along the lake. Availability of water makes my work possible throughout the year.
Apart from watermelon whose buyers come from far or neighbouring towns, the other crops have market readily available just within the area.I had never imagined that this agribusiness idea would be a source of income not only to me but also to other hundreds of people who earn their daily income from activities resulting from this business idea i.e transportation of farm produce. Working on the farm and selling products from the farm to make profit. My business is about the production of food and food is a basic need.
The beauty about this kind of business is that I only plan as per the capital available to me. For every 30shillings I spend per plant, I get a gross income of between 80-150shillings or more depending on the law of demand and supply. The crops that I plant takes between two to three months to harvest. The cost involves purchase of seeds, land lease,irrigation,land preparation and tilting, weeding and even spraying.
I chose this type of business because it needed less capital to start. The profit has helped me to purchase waterpump, irrigation materials, farm implements like wheelbarrows, knapsack sprayers. The profit also caters for my daily needs. I pay school fee, rent and bills. This business, even though still small, has made many others to look foward to it as a source of their daily income just like me. I am encouraged by the African saying 'the largest mogumo(oak) tree you see arround was once a tiny seedling that held its ground'.
I am a small scale farmer who does farming as a business. Some of the crops I produce includes but not limited to tomatoe, watermelon, sweet melon, capsicum, pumpkin, kales, butternut.
Myself and my fellow small scale farmers had one big problem. We produced the best in our farms but there was no market to sell our produce, I decided to carry out market research in the neighbouring towns and I found out that the demand for our produce was high, so I asked myself "why are we stuck with our produce?". I realised that our biggest problem was the middlemen who bought our produce at very low price and sell to retailers at prices that are very very high thereby making our produce affordable to few people. This act by the middlemen made farming a worthless venture to most of us farmers because in the end, the returns does not match what we invested. On the other end, most retailers received the produce at high prices and this locked out most potential consumers who would buy the produce.
As farmers, we worked hardest, soiled our hands and cooled our body with sweat and yet our returns were dictated by the middlemen who never cared whether we made loss or not.
With the loan I received from Zidisha, I started buying produce from my fellow farmers including my farm then sell to retailers in the surrounding towns. This way, we did away with the middlemen.
Farmers who had quit farming business are encouraged and are going back to their farms. We are satisfied with the returns we get because I found a way to avoid the middlemen. The retailers receive our farm produce at a reasonable price within a reasonable time frame hence making it affordable to many consumers. I believe that food is a basic human need and therefore should be made affordable and available to all.
MY LOAN APPLICATION.
Through experience, I have leant that the only way to succeed in farming as a business is to become a sales person. Not just a sales person, but the best sales person.
With the earlier loan I got from Zidisha, I used it to market my farm produce. In the process, my clients number grew and in order to meet their demand, I partnered with my fellow farmers so that we could work as a team. This networking between myself and my fellow farmers ensures that I meet the demands of my clients.
I kindly request for a loan of 82,275 KES. to buy farm produce from my farm and from the farms of my partners and deliver to my clients in different locations. I am very greatful for the earlier loans I received from Zidisha.
Nov 10, 2017
Cost to entrepreneur
Service fee: $36.44