‘I am 200 per cent ahead since I got empowered’

 

Sixty year old Peter Mwaka Kamu will proudly tell you that his expansive fruit farm  stretches over 2 kilometers. And with equal excitement, he shows us the pixie, tangerines, oranges and minora that he plants—heavy and overladen with succulent fruits. Then he tells us about the twin problems that had bedeviled his farming—water and markets. When he joined UTS several years ago, he hoped to get solutions to these problems. “I joined UTS because I needed money for water and to find markets. Middlemen exploited us!

“UTS told me that they could give me a loan based on my production with a grace period of six  months. That was something I had never heard of from a bank.”

The first loan for Mwaka who says he left teaching to pursue his passion for farming, was a Shs 1 million NRM loan— a partnership  between UTS and Microenterprise Support Program Trust (MESPT) “I sank a borehole and did piping for irrigation. Now I have two sources of water—a borehole and a dam.  That means I have water and can plant throughout the year.”

The result is that Mwaka’s production and income have increased in geometrical progression. By the last harvest, his income increased by Shs4.3 million  (See percentage increases below). Beaming Mwaka now has his eyes fixed on improving his marketing system. And he believes UTS and its partner, MESPT will help him achieve this dream, too.