Financial Gurus advise that if you are going to borrow money, make sure you borrow and invest it into long term or profitable activities such as business, education, or real estate. In the end, it helps you increase returns and opportunities to buy even bigger investments, such as property.
Naturally, I have a phobia of borrowing money from Commercial Banks, the high-interest rates, risks with credit scores, and losses of high valuable assets is a nightmare I cannot afford. This is because I have a few examples of friends who have bad experiences when it comes to defaulting on debt from commercial banks.
One friend had bailiffs pounce on his beautiful house because he did not manage to pay back the money, he owed the bank. Recently, a neighbour at the farm sold his farmland in a haste to circumvent the possibility of his farm being used as collateral or having it seized by the bank.
To say it cannot happen to me, would be wishful thinking, on the other hand, a flexible loan scheme is cardinal, especially for a person of my age. That is what I have come to love about Nkwazi Cooperative Savings and Credit Society, the flexibility, and less stressful loan repayments processes which are easy to manage.
Additionally, the credit union has been improving the lives of its members for over 24 years. They have perforated a culture of self-help, self-responsibility, and financial literacy. These values have thumped an ethos of financial education, investment, and strategy in me, and it currently exists at the heart of most of my personal milestones.
For me, Nkwazi Cooperative Savings and Credit Society (NCSCS) has been the bedrock of borrowing. Their principle of borrowing wisely and avoiding using loan money to furnish your lifestyle has been a precept of some of my successes. Like they say, “success is relative”, but to some of us, it is measured according to the milestones we achieve and some of my milestones have been achieved through Nkwazi Cooperative.
From the Cooperative, I am grateful to David Mwamba and Malilwe Mulendema who have been available to provide me with the necessary financial literacy, investment tips, borrowing and repayment strategies, and best agri-business investment tips.
To be honest, I call them my financial consultants because they provide me with the best education around agribusiness, investments, and loan repayments structures and strategies in due respect of my age and current professional occupation.
I have a strong focus and passion for farming, a passion I strongly share with my dear wife. Thanks to the refinancing policy of Nkwazi Cooperative, and the tireless investment tips from my consultants at Nkwazi, we have been able to expand our farming. We now keep quails and free-range chickens.
In addition, we recently completed building a new piggery to accommodate more pigs. We are currently keeping 200-250 pigs and our goal is to keep 500-750 pigs by the end of the year. We are also increasing Sows from 35 to 50 and adding one (1) or two (2) boar (s) to the current four (4). My last refinancing went to the construction of a piggery with enhanced security and drinking nipples. I am also a new member of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), and my goal is to reach where only eagles would dare.
When the pigs are ready for the market, we distribute and make trades to Master Pork, a leading pork brand in the country. We supply Master Pork with 60 pigs each quarter. Our aim is to distribute 30 each month. It is worth noting that the demand for pork is huge in the country, however, this does not compromise us from being consistent in producing quality pigs with the desired weight and health. We always aim to sell pigs that are not less than 60 Kg (standard dress weight) and over 70Kg (live weight). These all occur in different stages.
Our current Challenge
Payments from other clients take time to be processed. With time, we would like to sell to institutions like Master Pork where we are assured of payment within 72 hours.
While the market for pigs is high, the cost of feeding remains a great challenge. We have tried to grow our maize, unfortunately, this is just a drop in the ocean. We also strive to grow high-quality pork using Zambeef formulas which have proved to also be quite expensive. The cost of feed contributes to 70% of the total expenditures.
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