Farming is a lucrative venture that ensures good returns on investment if good farming practices are undertaken. That is the testimony of Peter Ngirumugenga, a 38-year-old farmer from Sibagire Cell in Rwamagana District who earns over Rwf 30 million from farming.
The father of three has found a fortune in banana farming and piggery.
At his farm in Sibagire Cell, the sight of over 700 pigs feeding is a spectacle to behold. With 22 permanent workers and 30 casual labourers Ngirumugenga is determined to make the best out of his farming activities.
In 2010, he invested in banana growing, starting with one hectare which used to produce harvest of one tonne of bananas per month.
Today, his farm has expanded to 12 hectares, and he gets about 20 tonnes of banana produce per month, earning him Rwf800,000 monthly.
Previously, a bunch of bananas at his plantation would weigh about 20 kilogrammes but thanks to good farming practices, he now harvests bunches that weigh as much as 80 kilogrammes.
His 12-hectare farm consists of eight hectares of banana plantation and four hectares where he grows trees and grass to feed his cows.
The agronomist said he did various jobs without a making a break through until he ventured into farming.
He raises pig species which grow fast and some of his pigs weigh about 100 kilogrammes within six to seven months after birth.
He started the piggery project in 2012 after engaging in banana cultivation for some time. His initial capital was Rwf5 million from savings and a bank loan. That money was used to buy 25 pregnant sows that he started with, and construction of a pen for pigs. When he worked for Coffee Development Authority (OCIR Thé), he used to earn about Rwf300,000 per month.
Today, Ngirumugenga’s piggery has expanded to some 700 pigs and his capital has increased 18 to 20 fold with his piggery now valued at about Rwf90 million.
His pigs weigh about 250 kilogrammes each, upon maturity. He earns about Rwf20 million per year from the sales of 500 pigs, explaining that about 40 per cent of the sales is profit.
He buys feeds at Rwf170 a kilogramme and an adult pig consumes about 2.5 kilogrammes of feed per day. In total, he spends Rwf4.2 million on feeding the pigs per month.
On the challenges of pig farming, he said that when protein-rich feeds like soya is expensive, they cannot buy it, and this reduces pig productivity.
Benefits from his farming
Among the benefits from farming is a house worth Rwf50 million which he constructed using proceeds from farming.
He also bought a car at Rwf8 million which helps in his farm work.
Also, he provides for his family and pays schools fees for his three children, and supports other eight needy children with school fees and other necessities.
“The Government cannot get jobs for all people; rather, by engaging in farming in a professional way, we can get well-paying jobs and create more for others. By so doing, we will help the Government in job creation and livelihood improvement,” he said.