Juhudi Kilimo, East Africa
I have a coffee farm in Machakos. I also own three cows and one calf, but I needed money to support my farm and provide my cows with good feed. I needed to pay the workers who help me pick the tea and coffee I grow. The payments for my coffee would come in once a month, so it was a struggle to pay them. It was stressful.
I decided to take out a loan with Juhudi for 50,000 shillings ($486) as working capital. Now I feel relaxed. I don’t have to wonder how am I going to pay these people. I am now saving the money I make from farming and will be able to pay back the loan in a year.
Once the loan is fully paid off, I will have a cushion to cover payments. I am thankful for this peace of mind. Now nothing is keeping me up at night.
Before I used to go to Equity Bank for loans. They will give loans based on my earnings, so they wait until your money comes in and then take what’s theirs. I get the balance, but before taking the loan I would have to figure out what I’d make from my tea and it’s tricky to tell. I didn’t know what the yields would be. Juhudi offers more freedom and flexibility. Their loan only requires payments of 5000 shillings ($49) a month. That’s a comfortable amount.
I feel I have built a good life for my family. Even if I’m not here, I am very comfortable they will be comfortable. I am confident my sons will be able to take over because I have built a good foundation. But I’m not ready to relax. If I relax, what will I eat? If I relax, I will die. I’ll grow old too fast.
David, 73, works as a farmer in rural Kenya and is a customer of Acumen investee, Juhudi Kilimo.