Entrepreneur Update: Swine Flu Upsets Plans but Business Stays Afloat

It’s been a hard few months for Deki entrepreneur Rubi Tamang (43) who lives in a modest hut in the Kapan area in Kathmandu, Nepal. In April 2012 she took out a Deki microloan of £160 to start a pig farm. Her husband supports her in the business and together they also run a tea stall from their house.

Swine Flu Wiped Most of Livestock

However, unfortunately Rubi lost around 3/4 of her pig stock in an outbreak of swine flu late in 2012. Luckily she had a larger stock of pigs which meant not all of her pigs died. Because of this loss she has had to delay repaying her Deki loan, of which she has repaid half so far – we have contacted all her lenders personally. As we’ve just heard from our Nepali field partner Mahila Prayash, a few months ago two of her surviving sows gave birth to 30 healthy piglets. This means she is slowly replenishing her pig stock. Rubi thinks she will have a sizable enough mature stock of pigs around August to start trading normally again and to continue repaying her loan.

Extended Repayment Period as New Piglets Grow

Both Mahila Prayash and Deki are interested in seeing her farm flourish again and with the trust and understanding from our lenders we can give Rubi the extra time she needs to get back on her feet.

Deki’s International Programmes Manager Diane Rafla met Rubi in April when on field partner visit in Nepal. “She is a lovely, optimistic and hard working lady, “says Diane. “Despite her recent setback I am fairly confident she will bounce back and be just fine.”

A Deki lender Clive Bower chose to lend to Rubi last year because he had also been in pig farming until he retired a few years ago. Hearing about Rubi’s misfortune, he said, “My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Rubi. I’m well aware of the risks through disease to livestock. I would not expect her to repay the loan until she is comfortable that she can do so. Some other lenders have also sent in their best wishes.

Thanks to everyone for their concern and for understanding. We’ll be posting another update on Rubi in a few months time.