What if the source of your livelihood disappeared overnight?
For poultry farmers in Benue State, Nigeria, that threat isn’t too difficult to imagine.
Sewuse is one of those farmers and runs a business with over 200 birds in her care. Her income depends on her ability to raise birds that are healthy and strong in a competitive market. In order for this to happen, it is vital that her birds are provided nutrient-rich feed.
But good feed comes at a high cost – one that greatly decreases her profit and could drain her farm of financial resources.
Ever a problem-solver, Sewuse decided to produce her own feed. She researched the best ingredients to benefit her poultry and reduce her costs. But this method wasn’t sustainable, and Sewuse soon discovered she wouldn’t be able to afford the raw materials to produce the feed long term. Her supply slowly dwindled. In her words: “I ran short of feed...my birds were almost dying as a result of this.”
In an effort to save her birds and her business, Sewuse searched for loans that could equip her to continue sourcing and producing affordable feed.
It was in that search that she discovered Ugbechi Savings and Loans, a program offered through local community institution Pleasure Travels. She applied to the program, preparing to wait, and holding on to hope that she would be approved in time.
To her surprise, she didn’t have to wait long! “The loan was swift, I got the loan the next day, and I was able to purchase my feed!”
Sewuse was able to feed her birds—and as a result, continue to feed her family. Her newfound connection to the Ugbechi Savings and Loans program has been transformational for her business. Through the program, she repaid her first loan, was approved for a second, and has learned to better manage her cash flow and savings.
"Ugbechi Savings and Loans was like a lifeline and...took pressure off me. [It] has helped me save more and have a saving culture.”
Equipped with access to resources that help her manage her finances and plan for a sustainable future, Sewuse now produces her own feed without fear of losing her birds or putting her income in jeopardy. With support from the program, she has plans to expand her production and support the other farmers in her community with affordable feed options.
A loan saved Sewuse’s birds—but continued partnership has made a significant impact in changing her life.