How Sh3,500 found on road turned around a pig breeding project

Pig farming
Pig farming

Five years ago, Joseph Kariuki was a troubled farmer to the point of wanting to give up his dream project of pig breeding.
It was not until a timely ‘godly’ intervention changed everything and today, he is one of the successful breeders at his village in Murang’a County.
A casual labourer aged 36 then and with a family to support, the budding pig farmer from Kahatia was a stressed man and had already made up his mind to abandon his project and sell his entire breeding herd at a loss.
“My daily wages of Sh200 was not enough to feed me and my five piglets and I reasoned that the best thing to do was to dispose them and think of something better to do. So on August 10, 2012, I left my home to look for a broker at my local shopping centre,” the farmer recalls.
The pigs were three-months old and the broker was offering Sh12,000, far below their real value of Sh20,000. But Kariuki was after a peace of mind, away from the continuous grunting of the hungry animals that was depressing.
However, on the way to meet the broker something strange happened that turned around his fortunes. For lack of a better description, Kariuki calls it a divine intervention and though he was not a staunch Christian then, he has come to believe in the power of prayers.
“On my way to meet the broker, I came across a wrapped handkerchief and out of curiosity, I picked it only to find some Sh3,500. It was obvious that someone had accidentally dropped the cash but there was no one nearby,” he says. Kariuki did not honour his appointment with the broker.
Though the money may sound little, it was all he needed to feed his animals for a few more days and today, the fruits are there for all to see – a pig herd worth Sh1.2 million, a half-acre piece of land and three motorcycles earning him Sh1,000 daily from boda boda business.
“Instead of meeting the broker, I went directly to the shopping centre, bought 116 kilos of feeds at Sh30 per each and headed back home. I continued with my feeding programme for the two months and actually sold them at Sh102,000 since the three females in that stock were pregnant,” he says.
His journey to becoming a successful pig breeder had begun and he reinvested the cash in new pigs for breeding. “Today, my sties have 275 pigs of varying ages.
On a monthly basis, my project gives me a minimum income of Sh50,000. Currently, if I was to sell all the animals at once, they would fetch me Sh1.2 million,” he says.
His earnings come from selling piglets at Sh3,000 each and from pregnant sows that fetch Sh35,000 each. To the butchers, he sells baconers aged six months at Sh15,000.
Today, Karuiki is no longer haunted by the guilt of growing his wealth from what some may term as stolen money. “I will never admit that I stole the cash. What I did was to pocket it since there was no immediate claimant. I knew that if I left it, someone else would pick it up.
My reasoning was that it was my blessings since I had on many occasions said silent prayers, beseeching God to save my project from collapsing,” he says.
The money picked from the path was enough to buy the pig feeds and the farmer came to a conclusion that God did not want him to give up on the project yet.
“I did a simple calculation and realized that if I used the money to buy feeds and breed them for two more months, their value would be Sh60,000.
Here I was, with a gift of Sh3,500 to help me earn Sh60,000 in eight weeks,” he says. To reconcile his spirit with the blemish of collecting and investing money that did not belong to him, he donated a part of his earnings to charity.
“In 2014, I went to a children’s home located a short distance from where I had picked the money and donated Sh20,000. I did not explain anything. It was my secret with my God. I found the cash without any ceremony, so I never found any reason to explain why I was being philanthropic,” he says

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