Can you believe that you can start with one hen and become rich in a long run? How one hen can make a difference in a family of seven and enable them to study, feed and access health care. How do we start saving for the future from just one hen? How can survival be made possible in a large family without resources? How can we help the poor to live up to recommended standards? If solutions can be sought for these questions, then peoples livelihoods can be improved.
My name is Samuel Ebitu, a practicing agriculturist, from one of the poorest families in Soroti-Uganda. I am 28 years of age; I graduated from Bukalasa Agriculture College in 2011 with a diploma. Currently I am engaging myself in agricultural production as well as helping communities in building their capacities in production, giving them new ideas and helping my community members access good and high quality agricultural inputs and value addition and marketing.
My passion about agriculture started at a tender age when I was just twelve years old. It all started during Christmas when I bought two chickens for the festive and refused to slaughter them. After breeding them, I was able to buy two she goats and a Boar and there started my farm. Step by step, I have also managed to buy three cows for milk production. I have great dreams in the field of agriculture such as creating jobs for my people, providing agricultural products and developing my locality through farming, and hope to achieve them all with time.
Due to the high rate of unemployment in Uganda, the majority of graduates turn to job seeking instead of job creation and continue to be job less or being paid less than what they would have earned. Having grown up in rural areas of the Soroti- Uganda, I developed a passion for agriculture at a young age and I realized that the farming as business is the best way to develop fast. This however is not the dream of a majority of farmers in my village who always producing on small scale and using shifting cultivation which gave little profits to them. As a result, these farmers have not been able to move forward and most have opted to search for other jobs and activities.
I want to start a business that could address this challenge and also help other people in the community live a sustainable life through trainings. Hence, I persued an agricultural course and obtained my National Diploma of Crop Production and management in the year 2011. From the profits I made from my poultry and goats, I have managed to construct a goat unit with two hundred fifty goats currently. The lithe money I save every month now goes into buying exotic breeds for improving my stock for breeding.
My plan is to first, build a bigger structure that can accommodate 5,000 heads, a water point and a drug shop to supply other farmers. This will significantly better the market prices goat products and in any case find other buys from within the region, which are now very high due to low supply. The project will also create job opportunities in the village. The success of this project starts the day the numbers of the goats starts increasing significantly in the farm.
Water and pasture in some months is the most challenging factor in the industry and hope to overcome this by drilling a water point within the farm. Other challenges in the production are poor roads and theft of the goats, diseases etc.
How these grants will be used:
The $5000 grant is not sufficient to do all this, but will be able to take it to the next level towards realizing my achievement. Here is what I intent to do with the grant.
I will first expand the structure to hold 3000 heads, which will be expanded later to accommodate the targeted 20,000 heads. This will cost $1,500. Second, I will fence off the farm which is costing $2400. Labor for feeding and vaccination cost until the project can sustain itself will cost $1,350.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Samuel Ebitu (Uganda) –samuel.ebitu[at]yahoo.com
Illustration courtesy: Jennifer Wilmore
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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