Emma Chogo lives in her parent’s home in Wodanga location of Sabatia division Western Kenya. Chogo was not blessed with marriage but with the art of keeping poultry and Guinea pigs.
The mother of one uses the pigs to supplement the diet of grains and greens.
“I rarely slaughter my chicken when I want to change diet or with when visited. All I need to do is prepare three or more of the guinea pigs, they taste great, quite delicious!” she says (Elev 1903 N00.10016 E034.78476)
Chogo says that she sold 25 rodents to a local university at a cost of 500 shillings each in September last year.
“The money helped me a great deal. I bought myself clothes, bought my mother shoes and better clothes and helped my brother with some money, I almost felt like I was financially independent,” says Chogo
The guinea pig is a species of rodent, these animals are not pig, nor do they come from Guinea. They originated in the Andes.
According to Chogo, the guinea pig is able to breed year-round, with as many as five litters a year, the gestation period lasting 2months.Above: Emma’s Guinea pigs
She started keeping the small animals in mid 2008 when a FIPS- Africa staff brought her one male and female guinea pig. She now has 30 and she has lost count of the number she and her family have eaten.
Chogo says the small animals are odorless and keeping them is cost effective. She has separated a corridor in the families store to keep the rodents. Other than the greens which include Sukuma wiki, she feeds them on maize flour and water!
Meanwhile in Kirinyaga East district of central province farmers keep the rodents not only for food but manure. Elev: 1218M, N00.63894 E037. 23915.
Mercy Kariuki is one such farmer. She has since dedicated what she earns from selling the small animals to paying electricity bills.
She says it is also a ready meal for her family whenever they want to take a protein rich meal.
The Kangaru village farmer in Githumbu location says she received a male and female guinea pig as loan. She was expected to give back two pair of which she has since done.