Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fish Farming, Cattle Breeding and Biogas...

Jean Baptiste by his fish farming pond
[Many micro businesses are retailers. It is typical. But there are exceptions. Jean Baptiste is one.

He is involved in farming Tilapia fish, breeding cows and donkeys in addition to running a retail store where he sells medicines for animals. Moreover, he is using biogas for his home and business. That is quite unique. 

The following is an article that Louise, who is a former banker and now a KIVA fellow working at UOB, put together after she visited Jean Baptiste with George Willaims, KIVA Coordinator for UOB in February 2013. - Jeffrey]

George asking questions

Jean Baptiste lives with his wife and children up on a hilltop in Gahengeri outside Nyamata. He is really a true entrepreneur. Jean Baptiste believes in working hard and has a strong passion for farming. He runs multiple businesses, such as tilapia fish farming, cattle breeding (cows and donkeys) and a store that sells medicine for animals. He is also very keen on green energy and understands the importance of recycling to preserve the environment.
Bio Gas is generated in this tank

All food for the cattle and fish is grown on his own land and the cow dung is used for his very own home-built biogas system, where 10 kgs of cow dung a day is enough to power his stove and all lamps in the house!

Jean Baptiste has used the UOB loan to invest in expanding his farm, but also to obtain insurance for his cows. They are high-breed Friesian cows worth 800,000 Rwandan francs ($1,100 equivalent) each and Jean Baptise has five. These loans, thus, have been vital to his continued success as an entrepreneur. His dream is to expand his farm further to include pigs and chickens. 

“I love farming” he says. “I work hard and never stop. There are always more opportunities out there and thanks to the UOB loan I have been able to pursue my ambitions”.  

- Louise

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