Mary Lith is 36 years old and has been in the groundnut business since July 2010. She joined WfWI's program in February 2009 where she learned agricultural and business skills through CIFI training. Prior to the training, Mary produced groundnuts as a source of food for her family because her "husband did not provide for them." After starting her business, Mary is now not only able to provide a basic living for her family, she is able to invest in her business and help it grow.
As Mary's business grew, she saw an opportunity to invest in cattle. She first bought an inexpensive older cow for approximately $200 which she slaughtered for meat to sell. Mary then invested those profits in a lactating cow that produces 4 to 6 liters of milk a day in the wet season. Mary keeps some milk for her children and sells the rest. Cow's milk is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, providing great nutritional benefit for growing children and pregnant women. Mary does all the milking and tends to the cow's veterinary care. Soon she will breed this cow and sell its calf to invest in more cows.
When asked about running her small business, Mary said: "Learning skills is a gift. I have been given a precious gift from Women for Women that has helped me earn an income and provide nutrition for my family. This is the best gift I have ever received."
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