How a bicycle changed the life of a widowed dairy farmer

Widowed in 2010, 68-year-old Georgina supports herself by working her 21-acre farm in Zambia – difficult work under the best circumstances. Her three cows produce milk twice a day, but without a bicycle she could deliver milk to the Palabana Collection Center only once a day, or even less often. Discover how a Buffalo Bicycle has improved her business.

Georgina Situmbeko is a member of the Palabana Dairy Cooperative (PDC) in the Chongwe District of Zambia. The majority of PDC members own fewer than 20 cows. Most, in fact, own between 5 and 10. To reach the PDC’s milk collection facility, dairy farmers must travel 2 to 17 km over rough, mostly unpaved roads.

Before WBR and the PDC partnered to make Buffalo Bicycles available to dairy farmers, milk was carried by hand or by wheelbarrow to the dairy collection center. It would take two people to carry one 30-liter can, and the milk would often spoil before reaching its destination due to the long distances.

For years, Georgina made only one milk delivery per day because she lives 12 km from the milk collection center and had no good transportation options. But Georgina was milking her cows twice a day, and she was missing out on the income her second milking could bring.

Now Georgina uses her Buffalo Bicycle to deliver milk twice a day and has not missed a single delivery yet.

Since the Buffalo, I never failed to deliver milk - not even a day.

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Cycling is much faster than walking, so Georgina’s milk stays fresher on the trip, with less spoilage and waste. The Buffalo Bicycle’s large rear-capacity rack and sturdy frame enable farmers to transport more milk than they could on foot or by wheelbarrow. This means that Georgina’s income potential has increased substantially.

It’s not easy to build a business as a widow in Zambia. But with her Buffalo Bicycle, Georgina is financially independent and proud of her accomplishments.

From 2011 to 2014, dairy farmers bought 281 Buffalo Bicycles through the PDC’s employee purchase program. Since purchasing their bicycles, dairy farmers have made more deliveries, transported more milk each trip, reduced spoilage and increased income. 95% of farmers say the Buffalo Bicycles have improved their lives.

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