Florent Kayiranga was once a teacher. He also owned a shop and took on a role as a driver. Until he jumped ship and found his calling in pig breeding six years ago.
Now, the 43-year-old resident of Muhoza Sector in Musanze District is the proud owner of a number of pigs he has lost count of.
“You cannot count them and even my employees do not know how many pigs there are. However I know the number of compartments there are and how many pigs on average should occupy a compartment,” the father of four says.
Kayiranga attests that he left teaching and the other jobs because he was earning little. Then he remembered his role at a secondary school where he was assigned to attend to the animals at the school piggery.
“When I was a student, we used to do practical assignments and I was often assigned to take care of pigs. I was inspired by the rate at which they reproduced,” he says during a tour around his pigsties.
That is when the idea clicked that he could make a living out of rearing pigs, but then got a demanding job as a teacher after his studies.
Then one day, he decided to start pigs breeding.
“I started with five piglets. It was hard because I was not in position to properly feed them. I only fed them on herbs,” he recalls. “After few days, I got some money and bought five more piglets and food. These multiplied and as they say, the rest is history.”
That was in 2008.
“When I started, I had no land on which to plant grass and build a piggery. I only had a small piece of land on which I used to breed my 10 piglets,” he says.
Then they started reproducing and he decided to sell the piglets. The money got enabled him to buy more land. That is how the business has become the multimillion venture that it is today.
“This business is better than others I have done before because I have got many clients who need pork and others who need to start pig breeding,” he says, even though he attests that the project requires more efforts and physical presence since the pigs need continuous attention.
“But it is also more rewarding,” he said.
One adult pig costs about Rwf100,000 and Rwf 200,000 depending on its weight.
Kayiranga’s clients come from across the country to buy either mature pigs or piglets.
Kayiranga has since bought a car he uses to transport the pigs and pork.
“I have also managed to buy a piece of land of five hectares, I paid over Rwf 9 million for it and I am planning to expand my breeding. I have managed to build a modern piggery and my children get school fees,” he says
He plans to set up a processing plant to make different pork-related products.