“I am among the greatest farmers in Mwanzugi village. I started with one cattle only but I am now a competent fish farmer. My life has really changed into a success and I have become a role model for Mwanzugi village. I currently receive various visitors that come to learn from my successful projects of dairy cattle keeping and fish farming.” Happily explains Godwin Kilimanjaro.
Godwin Kilimanjaro is a man aged 56 years old. He is married to Sabina John and lives in Masanga street of Mwanzugi village in Igunga district. He adopted the best cattle keeping practices from the group members who were capacitated by Heifer international Tanzania in the skills related to dairy cattle keeping husbandry in November,2009. The skills that he adopted from the group members included cattle’s healthcare, cattle feeding and shed cleanliness.
“One day in May 2010, my brother visited me and informed me that Heifer International was lending some cattle to community members with a condition of paying back one heifer to another farmer. It was a great news to me. I couldn’t resist showing my happiness to him. My brother further instructed me on the basic requirements for the community members like me to get the mentioned heifer and where I should go for getting it.
I followed all the required procedures and I was able to get my first cattle from Songa mbele group that was lending cattle to community members at Mwanzugi village. The group leader further taught me how best I could take care of my cattle. This included cleanliness and cattle feeding. I adhered to all the instructions and my cattle stayed in good health
Adoption of the cattle keeping skills from Songa mbele group that was empowered by Heifer changed my life into the greatest dairy cattle keeper and business man. I started getting up to 15 litres of milk a day while other cattle keepers ended up in getting approximately 8 litres a day. This provided me with sufficient milk for my family’s consumption as well as a business opportunity through which I started selling milk to various people and hotels in Igunga district.” Kilimanjaro explains.
Mr. and Mrs. Kilimanjaro pausing with their cattle
Through the profit he got from the dairy cattle’s project, Mr. Kilimanjaro decided to diversify his business; currently he runs a fish farming project. Early in 2016, he learnt that there were some groups funded by the Igunga Eco- Village project in Mwanzugi village that deals with fish farming. He decided to visit Jikomboe and Msongela fish farming groups to get skills in fish keeping project.
“Though I learnt a lot of things regarding fish farming from these groups, the group leaders also linked me to Igunga Eco- Village project staff for further capacity building on fish farming. After I had received enough knowledge on the project, in June 2016 using the profit I earned from the dairy cattle’s project, I constructed two modern fish ponds and bought 3, 000 fingerlings. I also bought one motorbike, a refrigerator and renovated my house. My son is also persuing her University degree at the University of Dar es Salaam. He is in his final academic year. I am comfortably providing him with all the school requirements.
One of the Igunga Eco- Village project staff linked me to the District Fisheries officer who further identified a focal person to ensure that I become competent in fish farming. The officer further assigned a focal person to follow up on my project’s progress. The officer taught me on feeding pattern and how I could properly feed my fish.
I am planning to use the profit I earn through fish selling to construct a new house in Igunga town center and I will relocate to Igunga town where I look forward to continue with dairy cattle keeping and fish farming.
I am grateful to Jikomboe and Msongela groups. Their fish farming projects contributed a lot to my inspiration in starting the fish farming project. They are really running their projects in a professional manner.
I am now among the best fish farmers in Mwanzugi village. Many people from Igunga district and even beyond Igunga visit my household to get some skill in fish farming. I also learnt from the groups that I should pass on my skills through which I am now educating my fellow villagers on fish farming project. I believe through this I will be more blessed.” Proudly explains Mr. Kilimanjaro
Heifer’s Igunga Eco Village project has been implementing its activities at Igunga district since April, 2015. Among other activities, the project has capacitated 10 community groups on fish farming project.
The Igunga Eco- Village project is funded by the European Union and implemented by Heifer International Netherlands, Heifer International Tanzania, and Aqua for all, ICIPE and Igunga District Council.