By Betsy Ramser Jaime
David Kamau Waweru began his career in the private sector after finishing college. He had received his diploma in Agriculture and worked for 8 years before venturing out on his own. Once becoming an entrepreneur he supported himself through dairy farming and general agriculture. While running his business, he was also employed by the government as the area chief in the Boror location.
Through his business, he is able to support his wife and children, including 1 son and 2 daughters. He mentioned that the milk in his area is in high demand as are other farming products. He typically sells his products at retail but when the harvest is good he prefers to sell wholesale because this allows him to receive all of the profit at one time. David says, ‘My customers like my products because they are of great quality and fresh from the garden.’
Since partnering with Zidisha, David has received 4 Zidisha funded loans. His first was in August 2012 where he obtained $500. He decided to use one third of the loan to improve his zero grazing structure with another third towards improving the pasture farm. The remaining amount was put towards artificial insemination. He was certain that these improvements would allow him to improve production and the overall standard of living for his family.
A year later, in August 2013, he found himself in need of a second loan. This time he borrowed $1,325. With this loan, he purchased a heifer and also built a zero-grazing unit with a vision for the future of constructing a bio-gas unit. He shared with lenders, ‘Let me start by thanking the entire Zidisha team and for my previous loan which propelled my project. My previous loan gave impetus to my diary project. I owe this success to my lenders for faith in my project. Looking forward to my new loan.’
By August of 2014, he was ready for a new project in his business that would complement the previous loans. With this loan of $1,977 he used 58% of the loan to invest in poultry including: chicks, chick feed, drugs, and the construction of a chicken coop. The remaining 42% was put towards the construction of a calf’s pen and the construction of a perimeter wall and slab of zero-grazing. David noted that, ‘Security of animals is important due to increase of stock theft.’
By March of 2015, David was pleased to share that he and his family were all doing well. His children were all boarded at school and he kept busy preparing the land for planting. He mentioned that his hen project was doing well and that he had sold his first birds and was selling eggs weekly. Even with the prolonged drought, his farm was prevailing.
On August 30, 2016, David shared this inspiring update with his lenders, ‘Hi Zidisha team and lenders. I take this moment to thank Zidisha. The loans I have received previously have transformed me and my family tremendously. These loans, given their low interest, have enabled me to fund my projects. I am looking forward to more loans. I salute Zidisha.’
For David’s most recent loan in September 2016 he requested $2,580. He chose to put this loan towards a half acre of land along the river. The remainder of the loan was used to purchase a water pump and seeds such as lucerne, sorghum, and legumes. He said, ‘My passion is skewed to farming, more so in dairy. This is an area I am comfortable doing, again and again. It is said agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.’
David knows that life is full of ups and downs, but regardless of the struggles, he remains optimistic about the future. Recently, on April 7, 2017, he shared on his discussion page, ‘Hi lenders. Time has really passed without saying a word. l am well, and hoping you too are well. Here we’re facing the longest drought, many have lost their animals and human food is in short supply. Rivers have dried. Nevertheless I’m very optimistic that the situation will change.’
Were you inspired by David’s optimism and persistence? If so, make sure to head on over to our Lend page to find other incredible Zidisha entrepreneurs.