Matilda Namutebi, 34, and her husband John, 40, are peasant farmers and they have been growing crops for their own home consumption. 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 Masaka District which is often known for having less fertile soil that barely supports crop production.
“I received a pregnant cow in 2010 although I was never convinced that MADDO would really loan me a cow, but since receiving one, there has been so much economic and social developments in my family. This cow project initially trained us to increase food production, to develop agriculture business and improve home sanitation.
They also taught us how to improve farming practices like digging contour trenches. Since our soil was not good for crop production, we decided to grow enough cow grass on 3 acres of land and on the additional two acres we grew coffee, bananas and beans- seasonally.
Our cow gave birth to a male calf that was sold and the money helped to pay our children’s school fees and also managed to pay for the artificial insemination. I was impressed with its milk production that ranged from 18-22 litres a day of which we drink three litres to supplement our food diet and the excess is sold to our community and to the nearby school.
We supply 15 litres of milk to this school and we are paid 168,000 UGX (about $67 US) every after two weeks. This income has enabled us pay for our children’s education in better UPE schools, pay for home essentials and pay for the veterinary services. And with the little savings from the milk sales, we are renovating our house, replacing the wood windows with glass and plastering the brick house as well.
We also managed to construct a new and better latrine and bathroom. Our cow has so far delivered three beautiful calves in order to repay for the living loan I got from Caritas MADDO Cow Project, the female calf I got, early this year was passed on to Kiggundu Irefal, a trained and well prepared farmer in Kirimya village by then.
Because of MPA’s generous giving and support of The MADDO Cow Project, I also was able to successfully pass on my first calf in good health.
For the social impact this cow created in my life, I was elected women’s representative to our Local council committee because my family now looks like a model home.
Apart from the cow’s milk benefits, it also provides manure to use to rejuvenate the fertility of our soil. We are now able to grow crops like bananas, coffee, fruit trees (mangoes) and seasonal crops like beans and maize. Besides the farm crop yields, we have leafy vegetables we use to supplement our daily main dishes and this has helped my children remain healthier than before.
The good things my family and I have so far acquired since we received this cow in our home, range from economic growth and social developments that we never thought this cow project will bring about. I thank MPA for the giving spirit they are exhibiting to improve our livelihoods through the MADDO Cow Project and thanks to our Bishop, for his endless efforts to find generous donors.”