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HomebusinessTech To Troughs: Christine Miyogo's Transition From Senior IT Executive to Leading...

Tech To Troughs: Christine Miyogo’s Transition From Senior IT Executive to Leading Piggery Entrepreneur

When Christine Miyogo ventured into the pig business, she encountered one challenge-most Kenyans for years had been purchasing pigs from the same supplier leading to a lot of in-breeding. This interfered with the production of quality pigs. 

Here is her entrepreneurial journey as told by WoK,

Taking a Different Approach 

When Christine decided to try her hand in piggery, she took the route less trodden. The entrepreneur started by importing pigs from Uganda, Zambia and South Africa. The initial stages of the business were difficult as both she and her husband were in full time employment. 

“It was very tough at the initial stages as my husband and I were still in formal employment with little knowledge and information on piggery,” she told Business Daily

The business was started in 2014 in Rongai, Kajiado county. They sold their first batch of pigs when they were 9 months old. A customer suggested that for the venture to be successful, they needed to dedicate time fully.

A better location 

During this time, they neither knew the pig breed they had bought nor what the market required. They did not conduct market research. This is what led her to educate herself on pigs and visited several farms to see how they worked.

During these visits, she was introduced to different varieties of pig breeds but was impressed by the ones in Uganda. She purchased them and they had to relocate the business to Embu due to challenges like waste management. 

Initially, she worked in Nairobi and thought she could manage the business from there. It soon proved a bad idea as employees were not reliable. 

Although they got new employees, better breeds and got enough commercial feed, they were still not getting the required results in terms of weight gain and production. They sold the animals but not as regularly as they had anticipated.

Increasing production 

She went back to the drawing board looking for better ways to make profits. The proprietor of Misega Farm teamed up with other pig farmers for a trip to Zambia and South Africa to ship other pigs. 

The pigs matured faster and gained adequate weight which boosted their production. However, they had still not broken even or achieved optimum production.

She told the daily that the business requires a lot of capital and without proper education farmers are likely to encounter losses. She said it takes about five years to break even..

The farm had grown from nine to 36 high-breed sows. Ms. Miyogo stated that for the business to thrive, a high number of sows is necessary

In order to have weekly sales, they need to increase the number of sows from 36 to 94. They also plan to start a complimentary layers business. The two will compliment each other as the raw materials are the same. 

Biggest challenge and getting around it 

The biggest challenge was the rise in cost of feeds during the pandemic. This high cost of raw materials for feed milling has made them innovative.

They have made new feed formulations and maintained quality which has lowered their costs slightly. This in turn increases the profit margin. 

The founder of Misega farm says of uttermost importance are buyer needs. Hence, they ensure the pigs are fed properly. The key is for them to gain weight early and sell.

The farm sells an average of fifty pigs to Farmers choice every month. They plan to make weekly sales by mechanizing some of their practices.