By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Frederick Cudjor is a poultry farmer from Agona Swedru in the Central Region of Ghana. He attended the Swedru School of Business and graduated in 2004 before continuing on the University of Cope Coast. He is now married with 2 kids, and runs his animal farm on top of his other responsibilities.
Frederick found himself at a crossroads in his business as he needed additional capital to grow his farm. Fortunately, his partnership with Zidisha has allowed him to do just that!
Frederick successfully acquired his first $150 loan through Zidisha in September of 2015. He shares, ‘We wish to increases our production to feed the local market and also create employment for youth in the community, the loan will be used in buying feed, day old chicks and other farm equipment for production. We hope this is going to go a long way to help our dream of producing good poultry product for Ghana. This will also help us to produce on a larger scale.’
As a farmer, there is always work to be done and new problems that need solving. For Frederick, this meant that by November, he needed another infusion of cash to keep his farm running. With a Zidisha loan of $299 he attended to a whole host of problems including: ‘buying additional feed and drugs, purchasing new breeds of livestock and day old chicks, paying for transportation to a veterinary officer to visit the farm weekly and building new pens for the pigs.’
Before working with Zidisha, a common problem for borrowers is that they don’t have the available cash to purchase items in bulk. This means that they are buying very small quantities on a regular basis. However, through their Zidisha loans they are often able to start purchasing in bulk, which allows them to save a significant amount of money over time.
This line of thinking held true for Frederick as well as he shared in March 2016, ‘When the loan is granted, we intend to buy drugs, feeds and new breeds of piglet for the farm. When feed is bought in larger quantity, it’s economical and also the cost of transportation becomes less. We also intend to increase broiler production to about 10%. 30% of the loan is going to be our cash back for salary and other stuff.’
The following loan, which Frederick obtained in November 2016 was for $659 and was used for a variety of needs. First, he purchased feed medication and paid his workers salary. He also used part of the loan to purchase a new breed of piglets, built cages, purchased new rabbit breeds, and bought feed. In addition, he shared that in the coming months he wanted to help educate his workers.
Never one to remain stagnant, with a loan of $928 in June 2017, Frederick set out to expand in a big way. With this loan, he purchased a wide variety of animals including: 50 broilers, 20 pigs, 48 ducks, 15 rabbits, and 4 turkeys. He also bought an assortment of feed options such as, brown rice, maize, fish meal, soybeans, and vitamins. He also noted in the near future he is hoping to add egg production and that at that time he had 3 pregnant pigs.
It is clear that the Zidisha community has really impacted both Frederick and his entire family as he says, ‘Thank you my lenders you guys have put a smile on my face & the faces of my kids, now I am able to pay their school & provide their needs. Look at them ready for school. I can now take care of my family. My kids are in school, my farm is doing well, thank you Zidisha. You guys have saved me and my community from poverty.’
Would you like to be a change maker in another community like Frederick’s? Make sure to head on over to our Lend page to read similar stories of hardworking entrepreneurs.