GROWING FROM STRENGTH AND STRENGTH
Teboho Noko, 38 years of age lives in Sukwe Village, Ward 18 in Gwanda District. She started the poultry project (layers) in November 2016 with funds obtained from broiler project she was running previously. When the project was implemented she bought a cage which costed her $450 and she also bought 64 birds (layers) at $12 each. Since 2015, Teboho has been one of the successful and aspiring female farmers in Gwanda District. She has grown from strength to strength. In 2015, Teboho started broiler project which enabled her to realize huge profits. The broiler project was so large that she kept almost 500 birds per batch. Now Teboho has expanded and she has ventured in an egg production business. She employs a casual worker but her husband assists to do the work, as well as children when they are on holidays. The layers production business knowledge comes from several sources. She once underwent a 2 weeks training (Matabeleland Go Green) in poultry production under Hi-grow Chickens in 2015, basic poultry production training being done by ward based Agritex officers. Teboho also has gained adequate entrepreneurial skills done by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. She also attends ward development meetings, field days and area business shows.
She source drugs and feeds from Gwanda town from shops that include Hi-grow Chicks, National Foods, Agri-Feeds and Pro-Feeds. Marketing challenges include bad debtors and late debt repayments that negatively affect smooth running of the business. The competitive advantage of Teboho’s business is that she faces no competition at all as she is the only one selling eggs at the moment. Therefore, she enjoys good profits from her business. As narrated by Teboho, sales were extremely high during the past festive season and are stable during the course of the year.
Teboho is looking after her birds very carefully and she is following all instructions given by the technical staff (Agritex Officers) of poultry project. As she provides balanced feeding to her birds and carries out all the vaccination recommended for birds, all her layers are in good and healthy condition. Now all 64 birds are laying and she is collecting daily 58 to 62 eggs from her birds, allowing her to save about $35 per week from egg sales, with the rest of the eggs consumed by family members. Each egg costs $0.15 whilst a crate of 30 eggs cost $4.50.
Teboho holding a bucket full of eggs she collects per day
She is using the income to buy food and other family needs such as school books for her children’s education. Furthermore, eggs are now a regular item in their daily family meal especially for children.
“Income from my broiler project and the selling of eggs is used to pay school fees and groceries and to buy clothes for the family. My future plans include buying a large cage that can accommodate 100 or more layers and establishing permanent markets which buy in bulk, such as boarding schools and Gwanda town hotels.
Problems faced include lack of finance to build proper housing structure for eggs production. At present, Teboho house the layers in a mobile mesh wire cage fixed at home. Diseases are not a problem here because there is ward based Agritex Officer with vast experience. Diseases get controlled quickly before they spread. Teboho wants to scale up poultry production projects by increasing numbers in batches. More cages will be bought and more broiler pens will be built. Furthermore, Teboho wants to attend more training courses on broiler management.
A cage that has a capacity to hold 65 chickens (layers)
Teboho Noko is also part of the Thandanani Self Help Group with 5 members whom they contribute $5 every month and loan to each other at a 10% interest rate. The group was formed by Hand in Hand in 2015, and up to date they have received adequate training that has enabled all the members to venture into different projects as individuals.
Teboho Noko holding one of the layers
When asked about the future plans for her project she highlighted that she wish to expand the poultry project not only through brick and mortar but to make it profitable and she wishes also to share her experiences with other entrepreneurs to inspire them raise their projects equally or even more successfully. Of worthy to note is that Teboho through her commitment and interest in the program she manage to get a Job of volunteer EDF for ward 18 of Gwanda in June 2016. She has displayed a high level of commitment on her job and enterprises. She is so passionate about seeing her community grow their businesses to the level where she is. She is one of the hardest working EDFs and family mother among Hand in Hand Team.
Compiled by: Marupe Sabelo
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