I am called Evans Kimosop, a.k.a. the ‘Village Boy’ from Kanes Farm located at Eldoret, Kenya. I am 28 years old and was raised by a family that relied on farming to have income for paying school fees and other bills.
Two years ago a group of friends and I wanted to set up a fund to invest in agribusiness start-ups that have challenges accessing credit. The funds were not enough and that was when we concluded that the next frontier is agriculture and we settled on pig farming.
The first step at Kane farm was the knowhow. We started with 2 in-pig sows which farrowed 14 piglets. In total, 12 survived. This was a learning step for us to understanding the feed costs, diseases, and husbandry.
This enabled us to think on how to reduce feeds cost. From the initial stage feed cost us $0.3/kg and now it costs us $0.22/kg, which has improved our margins to 33% with planned reduction of feeding cost through planting of on-farm feeds.
The reason why we set up the pig farm was to address three global issues; food security, unemployment and creation of opportunities that can create wealth. Over the one year we have been in operation, the farm has achieved some milestones including the employment of 2 full time staff and 3 part time staff.
We have also increased our breeder stock of sows from 2 to 14 with other matured pigs valued at $12,000. Thus we are on track to addressing the global challenges mentioned earlier.
Agriculture has been foreseen to be the next game changer with a lot of Agri-tech and funds being set up to finance projects in this sector.
Africa has some of the fastest growing countries in the world, and we envisage that Kanes farm will not only solve the problem of food shortage but also have social impact to the communities through creation of employment and empowerment of other farmers to set up pork farms.
We have mitigated the challenge of the knowledge gap, poor feed quality and lack of improved breeder sows by having in our advisory board a top authority in pork in East Africa (Dr. Mosoti, Mr. Rotich and animal health experts at the farm) and the strategic advisors who have experience in their respective fields.
Additionally, with the help of these advisors we are working on farm feed formulation to improve on the feed quality given that our current supplier do not have feeds for each stage of pig growth. Our sows are being ear tagged to improve our traceability and thus reduce inbreeding.
The USD $5000 will be used to acquire more breeder stock and thus reduce our payback period. It will help us scale up the farm to the level that we can start setting up an abattoir. The abattoir will eventually be a game changer for improved margins and also a step towards the farm setting up a processing plant.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Evans Kimosop (Kenya) – ekibop[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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