Mrs. Florence Chitsonga, a 65-year-old widow from Dunken partner village, began her current relationship with The Hunger Project (THP)-Malawi in December of 2005. Florence joined THP-Malawi’s Microfinance Program and with her first loan, bought three pigs, one male and two females. From these seemingly modest beginnings, Florence’s pig production has drawn a revenue of over K1,200,000 (US$8,000) to date.
As of May 2010, Florence has sold a total of 120 pigs at an average price of K10,000 (US$67) per pig. This means that Florence earns an average income of US $7.20 per day in a country where nearly 40 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.
Through her diligence, Florence fully repaid her loan and has used her profits to renovate her house and pay school fees for her two children. Florence is also able to supplement her maize fields by buying her own agricultural inputs; increasing her yield from six 50-kg bags to fifty 50-kg bags per acre! Florence was even able to finance a trip for her son to travel to South Africa.
While Florence currently has 33 pigs and has become an experienced small-business manager, new challenges are emerging for this energetic head of household and her fellow pig farmers. Because local pig production is beginning to exceed local community consumption capacity, Florence will begin the search for a “better, larger and much more reliable market.”
October 15, 2010