Watermelon & tomato farming... and raising poultry

Benard Kaoto

Kakrigu, Kenya

100% repaid



Benard Kaoto

Member since

April 2015

On-time repayments

232 installments  •  68%

About Me

I was born in 1977 in the Island of Rusinga, Kakrigu Village in Waware South Sub Location, Rusinga East Location. I was raised in the village where my father was a small scale fisherman and practiced peasantry in the small family land. The hardships that I saw my parents undergo influenced not to be after formal forms of employment but to engage in agriculture. This is one area that I realised many people do not venture into opting to fishing that is widely practised. However the depletion of fish species influenced me to diversify the economic activity from the mainstream fishing to farming.
In the few years that I have engaged into this sector I have discovered the 'gold' that is hidden here and I want to expand it to greater levels. I get inspired when the whole of my family, during spare time we spend a lot of our time in the farm and enjoy doing it together. My children comment that they want to buy a tractor when they grow up to aid me in ploughing instead of the conventional hoes that we use. A lot of our free time is spent in the garden and imagine the taste of a paw paw juice one hot day!!!!

My Business

Rusinga Island where I live is surrounded by the vast Lake Victoria Waters. Despite the availability of the vast waters food security has always been a challenge. The changing weather patterns have adversely affected agricultural production in the community hence low production of food crops.
In response to this challenge I decided to venture into horticultural farming where I grow cabbages, onions, tomatoes and other fast maturing food crops.
Horticultural farming has proved to be very profitable as the demands for the products are high from middle men/women who buy from my farm in bulk and resell to consumers. I occasionally sell to consumers direct which is as well profiting.
I used the proceeds from my farm in paying school fee for my children, buy school uniforms and other family supplies. I am also relieved from buying most of the food that I use at home as they are got directly from my farm.
I thank Zidisha for their support using the previous loan to cultivate the additional piece of land that I acquired and the harvest was equally bountiful.
I got a lot of support from the proceeds as my children's school fee were smoothly settled, I can now do some Christmas shopping for my family and daily meals weren't a bother as I could buy that which I did not have. Surely Zidisha is transforming lives!
I have realised that agriculture is as paying even more than mainstream jobs. I want to raise up a fence made up of barbed wire as the temporary fence I raised is weak and cannot keep the marauding animals away. At the same time a fence will keep intruders away. From the proceeds of the last harvest and an addition from yet another loan from Zidisha I hope my dreams will accomplished.
Because of the strong El-nino rains I feel I should diversify and as well try a hand in poultry rearing. It is also one project that my feasibility study has proved to be as profitable and in demand.
It is for this reason that I have a fall back in Zidisha because my savings may not be sufficient. An additional Zidisha loan added to my savings will enable me therefore to buy the materials needed like cedar poles, nails, barbed wire, pay for the labourers, raise up a structure for the chicks and buy some feeds. I understand that it is a demanding venture that will require a lot of financial input and commitment but I believe I am upto the challenge.
I therefore appeal for support from the worthy partners once again as I prepare to launch the next phase of my projects.

Loan Proposal

let me start by thanking zidisha org for the continued financial support for the last past three loans i have benefited from. I would like to request for the fourth one. if my request goes through, I would spend the money in my new project of water melon farming which at this time of the season have greater demand both in the National and our nearby local markets. this is the best season for them. I had tried this before and realised some great achievement. with the help of my newly bought generator, I believe i will be able to do a wonderful job. harvested matured melons are weighed in kilos and a kilo goes up 200/=,that translates to some good money if a farm is properly managed the way I'm planning to organize my horticultural work. I have already hired a farm for this project, the farm is well located just by lake shore. since my poultry farming is also registered some good progress, I plan to introduce also broilers, I intend to construct a different house or rather structure for that new project. right now I'm now I'm able to supply efficiently eggs to my hometown, they like my eggs because of their sizes ,many of my customers say that, my eggs are good also fetching them some good name to their own customers. my family also is not left behind, they have proper diet of eggs and this have boosted my family income. part of this income have enabled me to pay school fees for their education. this has been successful because of the generosity and support from zidisha, many have admired this and they have requested me to introduce them to zidisha, to which I started doing right away. kindly support me again for the next loan. thanks a lot. this is how I intend to use the money,
5 packets melon [email protected]= 20000/=
2packets spraying pesticides @800 =1600/=
land preparation cost 7000/=
purchase of new broilers 5000/=
transportation 1400/=
Total =35000/=






Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount


Date disbursed

Jun 16, 2016

Repayment status

On Time

Projected term

14 months

Cost to entrepreneur

Service fee: $14.90



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Ask Benard a question about this loan project, share news and photos of your own, or send a simple note of thanks or inspiration.

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  • Mabel Kadenyi    Feb 21, 2019

    Dear Friends,
    I have spoken with Mr. Kaoto and he has promised to repay next week once he is done with what he is doing this week. He is not able to reach mpesa services where he is now.
    Warm regards,

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  • Benard Kaoto    Nov 24, 2018

    the photo was taken in early hours of the day,before taking my cattle's for grazing .I was checking out the ticks.I normally control them from my livestock, because the cause infection to the livestock hence can cause diseases.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Nov 24, 2018

    my livestock farm is doing well,hope it will be a wonderful project. the project has been successful due the continued support from my zidisha brothers and sister(lenders).the organization has done me a proud and encouraged farm.my neighborhood also admire my project of the livestock.thanks God bless you hope you will lend me again after having fully refunded the current loan.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Oct 13, 2018

    thanks to zidisha for the good financial support,im encouraged and will continue to be part of the zidisha family.through the continued support,im able to educate and support myfamily effectively and efficiently.my livestock project speaks for it self.i lost one of my castles during drought ,but right now ,they are doing good.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Oct 13, 2018

    this photo i took today,while grazing my livestock in one of the farms i own ,the project is doing well,it was the project funded by my zidisha friends/lenders.i like it.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Aug 26, 2018

    My livestock farming is doing so well. I'm happy to own the flock i have Today, my camera is not good, it can't produce good pictures , I'll do some flushing or repair on the phone,to enable me put some fine pictures from my livestock.
    Generally the project is up to date, this the project i enjoy the most, i love my livestock. The animals are very healthy. There is enough grass for them to eat and this will boost their health. The pictures I'll send later to enable us see the latest developments.

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    • Joost    Aug 26, 2018

      That’s really great news. I just saw that you missed some repayments. Please don’t forget them because your on time repayment score must be above 90% if you want you credit limit to rise.

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  • Joost    Aug 26, 2018

    Dear Bernard,

    How is your business going today. Can you share some news and photos from the livestock building you were planning to build.

    Best wishes,

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  • Benard Kaoto    Aug 5, 2018

    I have paid my weekly installments KES 1,500/=. Transaction no (Mpesa ) MH53VY54Z9 .

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  • Benard Kaoto    Jul 16, 2018

    My repayment for the last two weeks has never been reflected, please effect the amount.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Jul 15, 2018

    I have already sent my repayment but not been reflected.

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  • Benard Kaoto    May 28, 2018

    I paid my loan yesterday and up to this time, it's not been credited or settled in my weekly repayments. The transaction no is MER1ML9X6P. Paid on the 27th May 2018. Amount paid was KES 1000/=

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  • Benard Kaoto    Apr 19, 2018

    I have already contacted Mr Wilson makori and promised to pay very soon

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  • Benard Kaoto    Apr 10, 2018

    I paid (repayment ) my loan but has not been credited or rather reflected. I paid on the 7th April 2018, two different transactions as follows :MD77P2F69Z, the amount paid for this was KES 500/=.the other transaction was :MD79P2IPZT, this was KES 700/=.this transaction translates to total KES 1200/=.kindly update it.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Mar 20, 2018

    Right now i have some commitments and will adjust later.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Mar 9, 2018

    Let me take this golden opportunity to thank you dearly for having funded my loan fully. I'm able to invest in the local dairy cows. I have purchased the cows and right now I'm giving them full attention. The money I received after deduction was 108,348KES.thanks a lot God bless you abundantly.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Feb 28, 2018

    Thanks a lot to the zidisha organization, I'm happy having considered my loan application, my loan is now fully funded and awaiting disbursement. Thanks, I'm very much grateful, May God bless you abundantly and the lenders.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Feb 28, 2018

    I'm very happy for the funding, may God bless you abundantly. I'll do my project as as i made my budget or proposal. I have accepted the fund. Thanks God bless you. I intend to purchase the local dairy cows as i stated in my budget. Below is a picture i took while grazing my local dairy cattles in one of my farms.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Feb 28, 2018

    With five days left to the days of my funding, i still have hopes that I'll be funded fully. May God bless you those have sent the funds and even those Preparing to send theirs. Thanks.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Feb 26, 2018

    Taking good care of my local dairy cattles, i like doing this everyday.

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  • Benard Kaoto    Feb 25, 2018

    I took this photo while grazing my cows and in one of my farms. If given the funding, I will buy more local dairy cows.

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