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From Classroom To Hatchery: COVID-19 Opens Business Fortunes For Masaka Teacher

Victoria Nampeera Kibirango

When coronavirus struck, Victoria Nampeera Kibirango was one of the many professionals that were directly affected by the resultant lockdown restrictions which were announced by the government in March 2020, as proven interventions to avert the spread of the disease.

Nampeera, a mother of five was largely dependent on her monthly salary as a primary school teacher at St Maria Goretti Mpugwe Primary School located in Nyendo-Mukungwe division, Masaka city. But, she says that the lockdown came with a mixed bag of frustration and fortune, challenging her to reinvent herself into a sustainable business that earns far better than what the best schools in her locality pay their teachers.

When the first lockdown was announced, according to her, the entire staff was optimistic that the situation would normalize soon and enable them to resume their routine. But two months into the lockdown, she says, they started feeling the burden of staying home for long hours.

She says that with disruptions in her main source of income, she started contemplating how she would sustain the family. It is at this point that she visited an average poultry farmer who was rearing local chicken which she would eventually sell during the festive season, for guidance about the business.

Nampeera narrates that she picked up the idea and instantly used part of her remaining savings to buy eleven hens and two cocks as her startup poultry stock. This is what has turned her home into an organized local-chicks breeding and multiplication centre in the area.  

From local chicken, Nampeera advanced into the hybrid Kurioler breed of chicken which she says is currently on demand. To build a sustainable market base for her chicks, Nampeera braves the challenges of nurturing the young birds up to one month, and eventually sells them to other progressive farmers; many of whom are usually afraid of taking care of day-old chicks due to the associated challenges of managing a brooder.  

She operates with a production capacity of 400 chicks per week, selling a day-old chick at 2,300 Shillings and 9,000 Shillings for midterm chicks of one month. 

Besides making regular-reasonable earnings from her home-reared birds, Nampeera adds the project keeping her children fully engaged throughout the lockdown period, and she contemplating on expanding the poultry farm in the near future as she waits for the reopening of schools. 

-URN

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