Nsengimana abandoned a bank job for a piggery

Isaiah Nsengimana, 27, a resident of Shyogwe Sector in Muhanga district, graduated two years ago from Catholic University of Kabgayi with a degree in management.
Nsengimana watering his animals. Business Times / Seraphine Habimana.
Nsengimana watering his animals. Business Times / Seraphine Habimana.

Isaiah Nsengimana, 27, a resident of Shyogwe Sector in Muhanga district, graduated two years ago from Catholic University of Kabgayi with a degree in management.

Shortly after graduation, Nsegimana was lucky to get employment with Urwego Opportunity Bank, but the young graduate worked for only eight months and decided to quit his job to pursue his passion, farming.

He ventured into piggery, starting with 3 piglets bought from savings of his monthly salary of Rwf150, 000. To date, Nsegimana boosts of a business project worth Rwf 20m, (including the value of the land and 200 pigs) from which he earns a monthly net income of about Rwf400, 000.

The secret behind his success in business is in hard work, taking firm decisions and having a passion for what he is doing. He believes that piggery will be his line of business, whatever ever the circumstances and other opportunities the future may hold in stock for him because not only does he find it a good business, but he also loves seeing piglets grow to maturity.

“I have reached a level where I am admired by many and trusted by the banks and other institutions,” he says.

How he started

Nsengimana says he bought three piglets after working for eight months with Urwego Opportunity Bank. About three months after buying the animals, he quit the job to concentrate on the piggery project.

His decision was seen by many as irrational and erratic, as they did not understand how a young man, with a bright future in the banking industry, would leave an office job for pigsty. But Nsengimana had his eyes set on earning big money from self employment. “I used to earn a monthly salary of Rwf150, 000, but this was little money and did not match my ambitions.”

He said that he developed the idea of becoming an independent entrepreneur while working with the bank. “I believed that I would never achieve my goals by working for someone else. I did not feel comfortable at all working for other people—I wanted to be my own boss. Besides, I was passionate about pigs and agriculture generally,” Nsengimana says with a touch of self-assurance.

He started the project in 2010 with less than Rwf200,000, but is now the sole supplier of piglets in his area. And that is not all, Nsengimana also believes that it is his responsibility, as an entrepreneur to lift the standard of living of the community he lives in. As such, he has since donated 10 piglets to his heghbours whom he encourages to donate to others in future.

Some of those who have benefited have praised him for such an initiative that they say gives hope to the vulnerable families. They say, the pigs are helping them improve their incomes and get manure they use to improve soil fertility for higher crop yields.

Nsengimana says he can already see the way the few pigs he has donated are changing people’s lives and hopes to supply more than 1,000 people in the coming five years.

With manure from the pigs, he also started crop farming on his three-hectare piece of land on which he grows bananas and vegetables. He hopes to build not only a successful career in farming, but also a big farm to bequeath to his children. In two years, he plans to have butchery for selling pork and a vehicle for transporting his products.

Challenges

The young farmer faces market challenges, but that does not worry him as he is developing capacity to broaden his marketing outlets. Currently, his main buyers come from Kigali.

They buy at Rwf1,000 a kilo of pork and sell to consumers at between Rwf3,000 and Rwf5,000 per kilo depending on the location.

In his locality, there is no butchery for pork and Nsengimana is looking into the idea of setting up one to cash in on the available market. The biggest clients for piglets are farmers in co-operatives.

What neighbours says


Elias Ndahayo, urges youth to learn from Nsengimana, saying most youth are lazy and want to depend on their parents for everything. He adds that his creativity and motivations should be a good example for all young people to emulate.

“Nsengimana is hard working and kind, and also supports other youth in the neighbourhood,” says Annonciate Kamagaju, a resident.

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