Sacco loans powered growth of my dairy farm, says Embu farmer

Driven by a passion in dairy farming and a clear vision on the future he desired, Samuel Kariuki used his meager savings to buy a cow.

For the farmer from Runyenjes area of Embu County, that cow was a disappointment as it was a low yielding breed that could hardly produce five litres in a day.

Still, Kariuki forged on as he strategised on how to acquire a higher-yielding cow and how to finance the purchase.

He approached Nawiri Sacco, where he had maintained an account through which he was paid for milk sales, and was overjoyed when the Embu County-based financial institution approved his loan application of Sh50,000.

“At the Sacco, I met the marketing manager who guided me on the type of loan to apply for and also encouraged me to use it prudently to earn a living and provide for my family,” he recalls.

The farmer also sold his first cow and, together with savings and the loan, he had a total of Sh150,000.

He used the money to buy an in-calf Friesian heifer at Sh100,000 and used the rest of the money to build a cowshed and buy a chuff cutter.

Samuel Kariuki, a dairy farmer at his farm in Runyenjes area of Embu County.

From the humble beginnings, Kariuki today has six pedigree Friesian cows with each producing between 25 and 30 litres of milk daily.

He has managed to do that through hard work while ploughing the profits back into the business. He has also ventured into pig and poultry farming.

“Nawiri Sacco has been supportive throughout the years as I have been accessing bank loans for development purposes, paying school fees and emergencies among others. The Sacco keeps to its loans agreements and frequently invites me for financial education forums,” he says.

Kariuki has his eyes set on buying a parcel of land to plant Napier grass and lucerne for his cows and build a modern housing structure for the livestock. He aims to realise a production of 500 litres of milk a day.

The farmer plans to use his savings and also seek financing from Nawiri Sacco where he has maintained a good record.

Farm management

Kariuki feeds his cows once in the morning and in the evening. Though the farm sits on a quarter-acre of land, the farmer sources most of his fodder from other farms. He also provides dairy meal and mineral salt to his animals to provide a balanced diet as advised by vets.

He has a vet on call who examines and treats any animal that falls sick.

“Cows fall sick with diseases such as mastitis and require to be treated. A cow has to be in good health and fed well to produce to the maximum,” he counsels.

Some challenges that he encounters include shortage of fodder during dry seasons, marketing challenges where milk fetches low prices during some months and lack of proper means of transportation.

His advice to the youth and farmers is that they should not consider inadequate capital and small pieces of land as a limiting factor.

“Even an eighth-acre piece of land can support your agribusiness if you are passionate about it and you work smart. A good Sacco like Nawiri can boost your capital or help you to expand your business,” he says.

Nawiri Sacco Marketing and Public Relations Manager John Muriithi says they are proud of Kariuki’s success.

“We have held his hand all along, and we are happy for his achievements. We have products for youth and other members of the society,” he says.

To support youth in their enterprises, the Sacco has a low interest loan for them at eight percent per annum.

“We consider a young person’s drive, talents and vision in awarding loans. We saw that in Kariuki and resolved to support him. We also support the youth in business, those in farming, boda boda etc. We have partnered with milk buyers to ease mode of payment for the farmers,” he says.

In addition, Muriithi points out, they do loan restructuring for loanees facing emergencies and also offer loan refinancing.

Nawiri Sacco has a wide variety of products such as loans, saving accounts, mobile banking and agency banking.

The Sacco has branches in Embu, Runyenjes, Kairuri, Kianjokoma, Kathangariri, Mbuvori, Kiritiri and Kanja towns.

By Kamundia Muriithi

Sharing is caring!

Not Allowed