- Published on Friday, 30 July 2010
Participant Profile: Salu Assunção da Silva Farias
Project: Raise and sell chickens
• Obtaining money and materials to achieve his farming goals
• Protecting his livestock from the surrounding wildlife
• Developing long-term planning skills
• Awareness of the consequences associated with taking high risks
• Development of beneficial business-planning skills
• Participation in the Suruacá Entrepreneur Group to obtain advice and moral support
Salu Assunção da Silva Farias is ambitious, patient and full of self-initiative. His dedicated perseverance, along with his planning skills that CEN helped him develop though his participation in the cCLEAR Proof of Concept Project, is helping him past difficulties he encountered in pursuing his dream of owning a chicken farm — something that would not only raise his family’s standard of living but also develop the community in which he lives.
Like many men in Suruacá, Salu, 33, spends much of his day fishing, hunting and raising manioc on the family’s small plot of land. While these efforts allow him to provide enough food to keep his family fed, they don’t offer the opportunity for him to earn the little extra he needs to build a better future or meet emergency needs for his family. As one way to get ahead, he aspired to raise chickens and to sell them within Suruacá and nearby communities. Although Salu intends to keep fishing, hunting and working his plot of land — at least for now — this microenterprise would allow him to increase his family’s income without risking his family's current stability, while also helping his neighbors and nearby communities gain greater access to fresh chicken.
In order to achieve his goal, Salu quickly realized that he needed better planning skills to obtain the resources to start his chicken farm. With the support of his wife, Luciene, who had already joined the project, Salu also joined the project. When CEN first began to work with him, it was obvious that he had some pretty big, ambitious plans. He described his dream of owning a massive chicken farm but lacked the details of how he would achieve this. Although his ambition was refreshing, it became clear that he did not have the goal-oriented planning skills required to work toward his ambitions.
To improve Salu’s skills, CEN field staff assigned him a set of tasks. Salu was given instructions to research the costs associated with purchasing and feeding chickens, building a coop, maintaining the farm, and recording the demand in local communities for chicken products. At first, he had difficulty. During a routine meeting with CEN field staff, he merely presented the types of chickens he was interested in raising, their costs, and how he would ration their food. Staff members encouraged him to research his project more — specifically, market demands and the costs associated with the risks he was planning to take.
With time, Salu collected the information he needed to begin his project and make his dream become a reality. He first purchased 15 chickens and agreed to maintain them by selling one to purchase feed to raise the other 14. He also agreed to keep better records of the costs associated with raising his chickens in order to gain a better understanding of the budgeting required to maintain his farm.
After purchasing his chickens, Salu quickly encountered unforeseen problems with the wildlife surrounding his farm: An animal ate two-thirds of his flock. Although this loss was unfortunate, it was the reality check he needed to understand the importance of careful preparation. By failing to recognize and plan around potential risks, he lost a large portion of the farm he built from scratch.
CEN field staff saw that Salu was still motivated to work toward his goals. Independently, he began to calculate how many chickens he would need to sell in the future in order to continue to operate his farm. He is currently interested in building a chicken coop to protect his flock. He has already determined how much money it will cost, and he plans to pay for it by selling some of the chickens he’s already raised to maturity.
Salu’s own initiative in planning for his project’s future is rewarding to see, as it clearly exemplifies the skills he has developed since participating in the cCLEAR program. These skills will monumentally affect him because they will help him realistically achieve the goals he so desires. His planning skills are not only relevant to his farm, but they are applicable to any type of goal-oriented scenario he might encounter in the future.
Throughout his project, the CEN field staff has been in touch with Salu to monitor his progress. Most recently, Salu has joined CEN’s Suruacá Entrepreneur Group for moral support, to share what he’s learned with others, and to continue to learn how to transition his project into a more self-sustaining business. With CEN's support, Salu is continuing to raise chickens and build a sustainable livelihood.
Read more cCLEAR Participant Profiles