Stories of Change: Mildred Adhiambo

Mildred Adhiambo was a participant in ygap Kenya’s 2022 Business Accelerator program. Her focus is on supporting rural agri-business and creating climate resilience for small-holder farmers in Kenya.

My name is Mildred Adhiambo, a social entrepreneur interested in sustainable livelihoods for rural farmers. I am the first child in a family of eight, born and bred in Kisumu County, Kenya. I love goat meat in every version of it but ‘Nyama choma’ (fried goat) leads the way.

Goat meat is a staple of around 50% of Kenya’s population, and the demand deficit currently stands at around 28,000 metric tonnes. This gap is caused by a combination of farmers rearing slow-maturing goat breeds, and by the devastating effects of climate change such as extreme drought which limits the availability of pasture and water. Mitigation measures are needed to support smallholder farmers to adopt climate-smart breeds for better productivity. This is why I founded Zamil Farms LTD in 2020 to maintain flexibility and resilience of rural livestock farmers.

At Zamil Farms we specialise in breeding and selling Galla goats to farmers on a pay-as-you-go system. We believe that farmers can be part of both mitigation and adaptation to climate change when they have access to more productive livestock breeds, improved feed resources, animal health services and market access.

Here are the reasons why you need a Galla goat on your farm: they are the hardiest local breed in Kenya and able to survive extreme drought with less pasture and little water, and they are a fast-maturing dual purpose breed that can be used for both milk and meat. Adoption of this productive breed can boost food security and offer decent employment opportunities especially for young people and women whose livelihoods depend on livestock.

We are proud of our community of farmers which consists of 200 small farms who have taken up the challenge to lead in the shift to climate smart agriculture.

Like any other enterprise, the biggest challenges we are facing currently include access to financing and risk mitigation measures such as livestock -insurance. Building a business from ideation to reality wasn’t easy, and I am grateful for the business development training that I received at the ygap Kenya Accelerator program. It helped me define my customer, my route to the market, and how to prioritise key activities. My mentor, whom I was linked to by ygap, has been key in providing continuous checks on our operation especially automation of main business processes.

To everyone out there wishing to start a business, I would encourage you to solve everyday problems in your community, focus on the customer, and join a community of excellence to help you actualize the idea.

To find out more about Zamil Farms Ltd, head to their Facebook Page here. To learn more about ygap and what we do, head to www.ygap.org

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ygap is an international organisation that creates positive change by making entrepreneurship more inclusive. www.ygap.org