Raising Pigs by a Beautiful Garden

21 November 2010 at 22:00 9 comments

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

Riding on the back of Zeruya’s motor bike, I was on my way to visit the Taman Indah Group about 20 miles from the microfinance office, Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK).  After weaving through a chaotic maze of trucks, cycles, and cars, I was relieved to leave the main highway and turn down a quiet lane of paddy fields and cucumber farms.   Zeruya, my Kiva contact with MUK, wished his tires had less air to better handle the potholes – and my additional weight.  Ultimately we turned into a driveway where many of the group had already gathered.  I was impressed that Zeruya found this out-of-the-way place without a map or road signs.

The Taman Indah Group and representatives from MUK were here to process the repayment of the group’s first Kiva loan. Earlier in the year, the group was created by its ten members.  They called themselves Taman Indah Group, literally the ‘Beautiful Garden Group.’   They had a couple of things in common.  They were all interested in creating some additional income from pig farming and, more importantly, they trusted each other.  They knew when they formed the group that they would individually and collectively be responsible for repayment.  Obtaining future loans and larger loans would hinge on the repayment.  Typical for pig farming groups (and similarly with many agricultural loans), the loan is disbursed to purchase the piglets and then, after the sale of the pigs, the total amount is repaid with a single payment.  For Taman Indah, the loan term was six months.

When I arrived, most of the group members and representatives from MUK were already there.  For repayments, especially for group loans, MUK will send at least the loan officer and a supervisor to assure quality control.  This time, Zeruya and I were also present.  A couple of the group members were still working and would meet with the loan officer later.  A covered platform was used as an outdoor office for MUK and a second platform was set up nearby for the group members.  Agus, the loan officer, explained the repayment process and then one-by-one group members approached the ‘office’ and made their $145 repayment.  Agus and Herman, the supervisor, counted and re-counted the payment. An account entry was made by Agus and then signed by the group member.  Ultimately, all members had fully repaid.

And so, the Taman Indah Group successfully raised and sold all the pigs they purchased with their Kiva loans.  Each member of the group was able to raise 3 to 4 pigs and make a net profit of about $10 per pig.  Most members of the group used this extra family income for savings and to pay for their children’s schooling.   After the sale of the pigs, the group fully repaid the loan.  Now, because of the success of their first Kiva loan, the group looks forward to a second loan.  Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) is happy with this success and plans to provide them with a higher loan amount next time.

I was left with a question:  Would I be willing to raise a pig for six months for a $10 profit?  It was definitely worth it for members of this group, and for them, it was one small step away from poverty.

Jerry Harter is a Kiva Fellow working with Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) in Blimbingsari, Bali, Indonesia.   Interested in alleviating poverty by supporting small entrepreneurs?  Visit Kiva.

Entry filed under: Dian Bhuana Lestari Foundation (Dinari), Indonesia, KF13 (Kiva Fellows 13th Class), Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK). Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Sacrifices and Microfinance The beat goes on…


  • 1. Maliyah  |  12 May 2011 at 08:08

    At last! Someone who unedrtsdans! Thanks for posting!

  • 2. Musoke Friday  |  17 January 2011 at 05:58


  • 3. Walt B.  |  28 November 2010 at 10:01

    Hi Jerry, nice meeting you in SF, when you were on your KIVA training.

    It seems that your first experience in Indonesia has been a big success.

    Congrats, you are making a difference. Cheers, Walt!

    • 4. Jerry  |  30 November 2010 at 17:48

      Hey Walt. Good to see you here. I’ve been looking around for your email address. Could you send it to me at jerry.harter@fellows.kiva.org. I hope you’re doing well.

  • 5. nadine  |  27 November 2010 at 14:57

    Great description, Jer. Nice to see you with the villagers!

  • 6. Pat DeLeon  |  23 November 2010 at 15:09

    Was so excited to be able to read your first blog. I have been waiting and looking and now so enjoyed seeing the picture of you there and hearing the details of the work. Great job!! You look so happy. Can’t wait to hear more as time goes on. Much love.

  • 7. Jerry Harter  |  22 November 2010 at 19:04

    Those are the figures I got. The amount they receive depends on when they sell the pigs. Some are sold after 4 months for barbeque others are fattened up until 6 months and will fetch more. The $10 is typical per pig and would include all expenses including food and loan interest. It really isn’t much, but these families typically have another source of income. Cost of food varies and can be expensive if the better food is bought in order to fatten up the pig.
    For more info about pig raising on Bali check out the Indonesia blogs ‘Pig Breeding – Just One of My Jobs’ by Joanne Gan and ‘The Social Impact of Pigs’ by Anna Anatoni

  • 8. Cheri Ryan  |  22 November 2010 at 18:53

    Jerry, so nice to see you in the photo and to read about the successful work! Great to hear about the farmers doing so well too. Take care, Cheri.

  • 9. iledyashov  |  22 November 2010 at 11:44

    Jerry, great post!

    Does it take 6 months to raise the pigs before selling them? What costs are counted into figuring out the net profit? 4 pigs X $10 = $40 / 6 months = ~$7 per month. I cannot believe that monthly profit is justifiable. I ask because I have myself funded a few borrowers who raise pigs in Indonesia. I’m pushing off the exorbitant cost of living in Baku, which might be skewing my perception.

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