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Willy Kathurima: The Kenyan taking Botswana livestock industry by storm

August 13, 2018
By
Collins Ogutu
for Chams Media Digital

When Willy Kathurima left Kenya in 1984, he had his ambitions well structured. He knew too well he had to start from somewhere in order to achieve what he wanted in life.

Kathurima first landed in Zambia, stayed for three years before leaving for Botswana in 1987. Fast forward to 31 years later, Kathurima is now one of the most revered livestock farmers in Botswana.

He owns 22,000 acres of land on which a ranch of 1000 cattle is kept for commercial purposes. Statistics indicate that livestock farming is the second economic resource in Botswana after diamond and Kathurima tapped into the market.

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But how did Willy Kathurima break even in a foreign country?
His farm, registered by the European Union, ranches all types of cattle for dairy products, beef, and other commercial purposes. Kathurima says his resilience to get the business going has finally paid off.

“I started in a very humble situation, in a cattle post with eight cattle. But I now have 1000 cattle and it is because of resilience,” Kathurima tells Daring Abroad.

The farm is divided into five camps all of which have different types of cattle for different purposes. For instance, the first camp hosts bullocks that are ready for market.

Kathurima says the second camp in his ranch is meant for the most commonly known Boran species of cattle that can easily withstand drought. They are sold when demand is high.

“We sell three times a year. The bullocks are sold to Botswana Meat Commission and we can also convey to Europe and other markets. Female heifers are sold before they can be mated,” Kathurima says.

COST OF CATTLE

The cost of cattle in Willy Kathurima's farm varies from size, species, and sex. A mature Bullock goes for 40,000 pullas an equivalent of Sh400,000 while a young heifer costs about Sh75,000.

His opinions about doing business in Kenya?
“It is possible. If we get a chance to have even 100 acres of land back in Kenya, we can organize how to invest there,” Kathurima says.

Kathurima also says he has not forgotten about his extended family and country even though he admits he will spend most of his lifetime in Botswana.

“I did not carry all my relatives to Botswana so I do assist them back in Kenya. We have seen cash flow back into that country that we love very much,” he added.

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