By JOHN CHOLA
Knowledge acquired from entrepreneurship training has given a woman leadership skills, financial management and ability to reinvest.
Thanks to Kansanshi Mining Plc’s (KMP) the funders of the course, Mrs Bupe Lengwe of Solwezi’s Mushitala area is a piggery business lady with great appreciation to the mine for the training which has awakened her business acumen.
Lengwe is now helping to create employment for members of her cooperative where she is the Chairperson.
“During our last visit to her premises early this year, she and her husband had 6 ducks, a goat, and 12 free range chickens. Their main goal at the time was to renovate their pig house in-order to concentrate on pig rearing and increase stocking capacity. The couple’s biggest challenge however, was inadequate capital to fully implement their vision in time because of the various obligations towards their children’s education and upkeep,” narrates Mukumbi Kafuta, Managing Director of Fortune World Investments Ltd.
Fortune World is a business consulting firm that with support from KMP has been developing businesses targeting Solwezi residents.
Kafuta, whose organisation has trained Bwembya and thousand others since 2010, said the mentoring team advised the couple at its first visit to mobilize community members and form a cooperative or a club through which they should raise funds by members’ contributions.
“During the second visit to Lengwe, she narrated to the mentoring team that the ducks, goat and chickens they had earlier were sold, proceeds added to their savings and bought seven piglets—one male and six females—at a cost of K1,400 each, bringing the overall cost to about K9,800. These pigs are now about seven months old, and five of the females are five months pregnant expected to give birth after a month,” Kafuta adds.
He further says Lengwe expected the number of their piglets to be about 13 from each pig.
Kafuta noted that pigs normally give birth twice a year and therefore the couple expect to have about 65 piglets at first delivery.
“To feed these piglets for five months will require a cash injection of about K130,000. The average weight of one pig can go to 80 kilogrammes with good feeding, and with the current price of pork at K65 per/kg, one animal is expected to sale at about K5,200. The 65 animals are expected to bring in about K338,000, with a profit of approximately K208, 000 in the next five months,” Kafuta explains.
Kafuta describes the piggery business as quite lucrative with readily available market supported by wide spread restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and upon expansion in a few years the mine canteens.
Following the advice given to the couple at first mentoring visit to formalize their business, Kafuta notes, cooperative registration forms had already been filled and ready for submission.
There are already 23 subscribers to the Lengwe-headed cooperative who will be beneficiaries of the project.
Corporative members will help feeding the pigs through their financial contributions, and are expected to support the ongoing piggery renovations.
“The total renovations will cost the group K50,000, and so far K8,000 has been spent on phase one. These activities are being done on a one hectare piece of land next to a stream.
Future plans are to have fish ponds and create a value chain where fish can feed on animal droppings while vegetable gardens would also benefit from the manure and animal urine. Waste vegetables will be used as food supplements for pigs.”