“I have a passion and love for my cow and I do all things possible to take good care of it. I have no problems feeding my cow because I have enough land for grass for the cow. I am really delighted that my cow has increased my income through the sale of milk.” – Matilda
Namutebi Matilda, 34, and her husband John, 40, are peasant farmers and they have been growing crops for their own home use at home. They have five children (3 girls and 2 boys) and they adopted an abandoned child, Matthias. This family lives in the remote village of Minyinya in Uganda.
Matilda and her husband received a pregnant cow in 2010 although she was never convinced that MADDO would really loan her a cow, but since receiving one, there has been so much economic and social developments within their family. The Cow Project initially trained them to increase food production, to develop agriculture business and improve their daily home sanitation, but has also done so much more.
They have also learned how to improve farming practices like digging contour trenches to avoid droughts. Since the soil is not good for crop production, they decided to grow enough cow grass on 3 acres of land and on the additional two acres they grew coffee, bananas and beans- seasonally.
Their first cow gave birth to a male calf that was sold and the money helped to pay their children’s school fees and also managed to pay for the artificial insemination for a second impregnation of their cow.
Today, there cow’s milk production ranges from 18-22 litres a day of which their family drinks three litres to aid their daily diet and the excess is sold to their community and to the nearby school.
Matilda and her family are able to supply 15 litres of milk to the local school and are paid about $67 USD every two weeks. This income has enabled them to continue paying for their children’s education in better UPE schools, pay for home essentials and pay for the veterinary services for their cow when needed.
Along with having enough income to cover their daily expenses, with the little savings from the milk sales, they are renovating their house, replacing the woody windows with glass and plastering the brick house as well.
To date, their cow has so far delivered three beautiful calves in order to repay for the living loan and sell to others within the Cow Project who have completed the requirement to receive their first cow.
Since Matilda’s involvement within the Cow Project, she was elected women’s representative to their Local council committee because her family now looks like a model representation to the community.
In future, they hope to construct a biogas plant that will help to do away with the use of scarce firewood and avoid all the time it takes time to collect. Matilda is far from settled and still dreaming… she plans to have a smoke free kitchen, thus preparing meals faster and this year they also hope to construct a water tank that will make possible water harvesting when it rains.
The good things her family has received since receiving a cow range from economic growth and social developments that they never thought this Cow Project will bring about.
Post Script: Since reading of Matilda’s success, we went through photos from MPA’s trip in 2010 and found a few of Matilda the day she received her cow.