Juhudi Kilimo, East Africa
I used to work as a casual laborer, taking small, odd jobs on different people’s farms. Business was not exactly great, so it’s a struggle to get money to maintain my family and send my kids to school. I would take the little I earned and put it into coffee and tea farming. Slowly, slowly, I saw that what I was putting into farming was bringing more than I was making from the labor jobs so I decided to concentrate on farming.
I became part of a group that included farmers and some business people, and everyone would contribute a small amount of money and take turns giving to each other. I found it to be really meaningful because it allowed us to get more money than we were able to make just by ourselves. It was through this group that I learned about Juhudi Kilimo.
I took out a loan of 20,000 shillings ($194), using it to purchase a calf and feed. I had never owned a cow before and I could never afford one without this loan. My plan is to rear the calf and then sell it down the road. I am looking forward to it because I am sure I will be able to get twice as much as I had paid for it. For now, I am getting manure from the cow, which I’m using on my farm. I used to have to buy it, so it’s allowing me to save some money.
I want to get another cow soon because I feel there’s potential in buying, raising and selling cows. I have this desire to do more but, without having as much as I’d like, is challenging. If I could get a cow for milk, that would be really good because it would mean constant production.
I want to have a good business so, even if my daughters didn’t get married or have someone to provide for them, they’d be able to be independent.
That’s my biggest dream. I want my girls to have a good life.
Simon, 40, is a casual laborer and farmer in rural Kenya, and a customer of Acumen investee, Juhudi Kilimo.