Farmer Mrs. Jeanne D’Arc NIYITIEGEKA from Nyungwe cluster, Gitambi sector Gahungeli cell, and Njambwe village completely transformed her pig rearing practices after receiving EWV and pig farming training at the start of THRIVE and exchange visit in Q2FY22 at Muganza model farmer, Mr. MUGABE Augustin. She is 43 years old and married to her spouse Mr. NSABIMANA Vedaste who is 46 years old and together they have given to five children. The eldest daughter is 17 years old and is in secondary school while the lastborn daughter is 4 years old. His family’s livelihood is based on agriculture and livestock keeping as the primary sources of income.
NIYITEGEKA’s life before joining THRIVE project:
Before joining THRIVE program in 2018, NIYITEGEKA’s family was poor and lived in Njambwe village a high disaster-risk zone. Getting basic needs like food, school fees, clothes, health insurance, and other necessary elements was difficult. “It was especially hard to get school fees for my four children and our agricultural activities were for subsistence”. Said Mrs. NIYITEGEKA Jeanne D’ Arc
In 2017, World Vision Rwanda came when Mrs. NIYITEGEKA’s family was in category 2 of UBUDEHE and she joined the S4T group in 2018 after WVR mobilization. His family lived in ignorance of savings, with no skills of best agricultural and pig rearing practices, and no financial knowledge. Saving was not in their plan “It was hard to convince neighbors to join our group, even electing the group president was a big issue. They wanted to join a group that has rich members. However, after being elected as the group president by the VA at the sector level, I tried hard and managed to convince 24 members, and started a saving group DUTEGANYEJOHEZA with a saving share of 200 Rwf which is currently 500 Rwf”. The received training on EWV and financial literacy reinforced the group members’ commitment to creating changes in their family’s livelihoods by exploiting the available opportunities in agricultural and other small businesses starting with their savings
How has Mrs. NIYITEGEKA’s family changed their livelihood through THRIVE/KWIGIRA, especially PVC Project?
At the start of the COVID-19 period, NIYITEGEKA’s family livelihood deteriorated as her husband was not working at that time. “It became very difficult to put the food on the table for our children and we decided to change our ways of working and do our farming activities professionally; market-oriented farming business”. The family started to use loans from the saving group and VFR for agricultural business including cassava and beans production at large scale and pig farming. “The agricultural business was profitable which was not the case for pig farming”. Rearing pigs was difficult due to frequent Africa Swine Fever outbreaks within the cluster. The first pig reared was dead and sold for 50,000 Rwf, the second was sold for 60,000 Rwf while the third pig reared was dead during the 2021 disease outbreak.
Currently, Mrs. NIYITEGEKA’s family shows a great socio-economic improvement in terms of income and the well-being of the family members. After receiving training from WVR partner in Pig Value Chain, DUHAMIC-ADRI, Mrs. NIYITEGEKA decided to change her pig farming practices starting with a new adequate pigsty, breeding, and feeding practices. “I had a chance to be selected by the group to attend the training on market-oriented pig farming business and an exchange visit at Muganza sector to a model farm Mr. Mugabe. After the exchange visit, I decided and convinced my Husband to change our breed and we bought a 150,000 Rwf gilt. Fortunately, the gilt was artificially inseminated just after three days and the crossed sow were also inseminated after a few days”. The six piglets born from the improved breed (Landrace-Pietrain cross) were kept for fattening while the 9 crossed piglets were sold for 35,000 Rwf each 9 (315,000 Rwf as total income).
Figure 2. Expended and improved wooden pigsty for fattening of six AI born-weaners at participant Mrs. NIYITEGEKA from DUTEGANYEJOHEZA PG. Gitambi, Gahungeli. June 15, 2023. Note: The pigsty was constructed in November 2022.
The earned income was used to expand the pig farming business by constructing a wooden pigsty of 6 six chambers and purchasing a crossed gilt that was inseminated after a few days. The three sows gave birth to 28 piglets that were sold for a total amount of 1,190,000 Rwf which was used to construct a new cemented adequate pigsty, purchasing a gilt of 170,000 Rwf that is currently pregnant and the acquisition of 600 kg of feeds (300,000 Rwf). The farmer is thankful to World Vision Rwanda and its partners for their support for mind change and socio-economic transformation for improved livelihoods.
“My pig-rearing business was valued at 200,000 Rwf before the intervention by DUHAMIC-ADRI, but I currently value it at 3,500,000 Rwf. I did think that I can own a more-than-a-half million valued pig”. She added: “I used to sell piglets for 20,000 Rwf and now a two-month-old piglet is sold at a minimum of 50,000 Rwf as they are more vigorous and better breed”.
Mrs. NIYITEGEKA’s family’s annual income increased since joining the saving then producer group from 900,000 Rwf to 4,300,000 Rwf. “Training; EWV and market-oriented pig farming practices, helped us expand our opportunities for income. We are involved in many agricultural activities including rice, maize, cassava, beans production, and livestock such as cow, poultry, and pig, and we estimate our current estimated daily income at 12,000 Rwf.”
NIYITEGEKA family keeps records of all their agricultural activities including earnings and expenditures. “Record keeping has been a habit for us, every expenditure or earning is recorded. In addition, all activities are planned and discussed before execution and if necessary, we seek advice”
After the intervention of the PVC Project through training and on-farm coaching on the best pig-rearing practices with a market-oriented pig-rearing business mentality, the farmer changed from subsistence pig-rearing activity with manure as the main objective to market-oriented pig-rearing business with a clear market objective: piglet production and fattening. She constructed an adequate pigsty, purchased a Pietrain-Landrace crossed gilt that was then artificially inseminated with pietrain semen and birthed 6 piglets that she used to expand her farm by constructing pigsties and increased the number reared pigs from 2 to 10 adult pigs.
The increased income helped them to renew the house and made it easy to access basic needs such as school fees, food, and clothes. It helped Mrs. NIYITEGEKA to stabilize her small detailing business where she included the animal feedstuffs including Maize and rice bran, soybean, fishmeal, etc. for on-farm feed formulation. All her pigs that are not in the fattening program were vaccinated and enrolled in livestock insurance at SONARWA. I have 40 laying chickens that produce at least 100 eggs in a week. I am sure my children will not have stunting issues or malnutrition and sold eggs help me access the basics family regular needs”.
“ I have many things for which to thank World Vision Rwanda and DUHAMIC-ADRI, but the most important has been the knowledge and the courage to strive for the well-being of my family. I won’t stop until I get a big pig farm of 100 pigs and continue to be the reference for my group members who are also improving their businesses.” “I feel confident and hopeful the future of my family is blight, especially my children” She concluded.