Tea farming

Anthony Njagi

Kanja, Embu, Kenya

15% repaid

Entrepreneur

Name

Anthony Njagi

Member since

August 2014

On-time repayments

201 installments  •  37%

About Me

I am an entrepreneur, a freelance software developer, a writer, and a philanthropist. You may ask why I need funding when I am already a philanthropist. Well, I come from and live in an area where one is viewed as wealthy simply for being able to meet his or her basic needs. Majority of the people are poor and I come across many individuals seeking my assistance. Although, I do not have much to give, I often sacrifice and share the little I have. Nonetheless, I also face financial difficulties sometimes.
I would fill a novel describing my childhood but let me say that although I missed many things that an average child gets, I was fortunate to get an education. My diligence and brilliance in school propelled me to the University. It is at the university that I felt the harsh bit of life because I lacked various dimensions of support, including financial, moral and parental support. The challenges were a blessing in disguise because it is during this time of challenges that I begun engaging in entrepreneurial activities. I have gained wide knowledge not only through my formal education but also from freely available resources such as the internet and experience.
My area is unique in a number of ways. It is evergreen and farming is the way of life here. It has great potential for agriculture yet not fully exploited. We have wildlife that is a treasure but it is difficult convincing many individuals to conserve it due to high poverty levels. The population is a mix of both educated and uneducated lot. Perhaps the most unique aspect is the characteristics of the local economy that is driven largely by tea farming. Essentially, tea farmers are paid annually with a main bonus; the semiannual mini-bonus and the monthly income are small fractions of what they ought to get from the tea sales. This makes farmers have huge financial burdens for the greater part of the year due to labor costs. You will find many farmers with debts in the local shops, which they pay when they receive their payment. One area that I know zidisha would, and is, make a great impact is my area.
My aims of initiating the agricultural ventures, of which I am seeking funding, are not only to have a means of livelihood, but also to fill a gap in the market, motivate people into agribusiness, and eventually assist other farmers also become successful. My ventures require financial input because some like chicken rearing and dairy farming are in the startup stage. I have farmed tea for a while and my plans are to expand the plantations.
I will be highly grateful for the support and hopes the kindness develops into a long-term business relationship.

My Business

I am in agribusiness, with a focus in tea farming, horticulture, chicken rearing and dairy farming. I chose tea farming because of its stability in terms of returns and it offers relatively good returns. The existence of the Kenya Tea Development Authority (a marketing entity) makes the work of tea farmers easier. Payments are guaranteed. Tea is also advantageous in the sense that there are no major challenges inherent in other crops such as pests and diseases. I would classify weeding and labor requirements as major challenges. Therefore, investment in tea farming is a low risk venture.
My average annual net income for the last three years from tea farming was KES 70,000 (approx US$760). I expect this figure to increase because some of my young tea stems have matured and more will mature at the end of the year. My vision for the tea farming project is to have a monthly income of about 80,000 KES (approx. US$ 870). Tea farming is my main farming activity but as advised by experts I have diversified my farming. I therefore rear chickens as a business as well as do dairy farming and tomato farming.
Chicken rearing is also a viable venture. Chicken mean and eggs are in high demand in my target market. Currently, I have 150 mature layers but my next target is to have 500 layers, and eventually 1000 layers to take advantage of economy of scale. The main cost in chicken rearing is costs of feeds. Because sometimes I make my own feeds, the cost of feeds for the 150 layers is approx. 15,000 KES (approx. US$160) per month as opposed to about 25,000 KES when using commercial feeds only. Gross monthly revenue is approx. 55,000 KES (US$587.96). Now, I plan to strength my dairy farming and later grow my chicken business. The reason for this strategy and prioritizing is that increasing my chicken stock will require construction of a bigger house, which involves costs.
For my dairy farming, the plan is to purchase a good cow that produces at least 35 litres per day. This will make business sense. The demand for dairy products, especially milk, is high. In addition, the availability of a milk cooperative in my area provides a ready market for milk.

Loan Proposal

I will use the loan to purchase a more productive dairy cattle (I have identified one that yield 32 litres of milk at a cost of 55,000 KES (approx. US$600). The cost advantage of having few cattle that are more productive cattle as opposed to many cattle that are less productive is conventional knowledge. Since feeding contributes a large portion of the costs of dairy farming, having few cattle that produce more milk leads to increased profits. I also plan to purchase a motorcycle and I have been offered to pay in two installments. The motorcycle costs 75,000 KES (approx. US$816). I will pay the US$30,000 (approx. US$326) for the first installment and will clear the balance with the mini-bonus I will get from my tea earnings. The remaining approx US$20 will be used to cover overhead costs.

Feedback

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Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount

$1,011.52

Date disbursed

Jan 26, 2015

Repayment status

Late

Projected term

43 months

Cost to entrepreneur

Lender interest: $1,011.52 at 4.73% annual rate over 43 months = $171.93

Service fee: $138.95

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