By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘I’m an entrepreneur working in dairy and poultry farming,’ shares Catherine Kusimba. Originally, she got started in poultry farming to support herself and to be able to care for her mother, who had been disabled in a road accident.
She shares where she is today as she says, ‘I worked hard in poultry farming and through Zidisha, I was able to rear over 300 chicken for sale of meat and eggs. This venture really improved my standard of living and also care for my mother. My ultimate goal was to venture into dairy farming of which I now have 4 milkers with a production of 65 litres a day. This was possible after I sold a parcel of land I had acquired years ago. I practice zero grazing so I have to buy fodder and water for the cows. They are now all incalf and start calving down late July consecutively.’
With her milk sales, Catherine is able to earn $.50 cents USD per liter selling wholesale and $.60 cents USD per liter selling retail. Her customers include: individual households, hotels, and local shops. With her profits, she’s able to purchase feeds, supplements, minerals, and also pay her workers. Additional funds are put towards her home expenses and medication for her mother.
Catherine explains, ‘My business currently is mainly dairy farming. I have 4 milkers (Holstein Fresian cows) with an average production of 65 liters currently. I thank the Zidisha Team for enabling me get this far especially when I needed funds for purchasing feeds, poultry equipment and even buying the chicks.’
With 10 Zidisha funded loans since June 2018, Catherine has been able to continually grow and make changes to her business.
In her time with Zidisha, Catherine has purchased 200 chicks, bought vaccines for the chickens, and purchased feeds, fodder, a water tank, a cowshed, pipes, and machinery.’ Through these improvements, Catherine now has a strong diversified farming business, with cows, chickens, and vegetables.
On Apr 26, 2020, Catherine took to her discussion page and shared the impact of her most recent loan, ‘Dear Lenders, I am very grateful for the previous loan granted which I used to add on to the funds that I had saved for a long time to purchase a 10,000 liters water tank. This came in handy during this rainy season as I’m able to harvest rain water for my livestock. Water for the livestock is a big challenge because it eats into the profit gained. The tank will store water that will last for at least 2 months after the rainy season. I’m still hoping to add at least another 2 in the course of the year. This is a good start for to a sustainable water solution. Thank you for making it possible within the shortest time possible.’
Would you like to help boost an inspiring business owner like Catherine? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects Page to read about other Zidisha entrepreneurs impacting their communities.