Sturdy and docile, the zebu is native to the Indian subcontinent where it has been domesticated for thousands of years. What if, for a change of pace from a cat, a dog or a goldfish, you adopted a zebu?
Once upon a time…
In the late 90s, with pilot’s license in hand, Stéphane Geay founded his private aviation company in Madagascar.
On the island, the zebu was an essential acquisition for small farmers. However, few had the funds to purchase one. Moved by their plight, Stéphane resolved to lend a hand. With the help of a group of friends, he founded the Zebu Overseas Board (ZOB), collected money, and every Saturday went to the Zebu market of Antsirabe to buy animals for the small farmers.
A zebu is useful!
The cost of a zebu is equivalent to the average annual salary of a small farmer which is why so few farmers are in a position to invest in an animal! Could they fall back on credit? Banks don’t lend without paychecks, a regular income or a guarantee.
But a zebu is useful! It works the fields, provides fertilizer, pulls carts and even provides rental income: when not using it, it can be lent to others who do not have a zebu. As for the females, they have the added benefit of giving milk.
Sign up for a ZSP (Zebu Savings Plan)
€300: that’s what it will cost you to become the owner of your very own zebu. You will receive a certificate of ownership, a photo of your animal, the name,address and GPS coordinates of its host farm family, since, for practical reasons, it will remain in its native homeland.
Every month, the farmer will pay a small fee to the ZOB towards the cost of the zebu. After two years, he or she will become the owner and you will then have a choice: you can take back the money that is in your ZSP or choose to reinvest in a new animal.
Zebu and co.
The ZOB employs 11 people in Antsirabe, in the center of the island: a team of professionals who assist the farmers. Every day, under the leadership of Bernadet, field officers visit the families to check on the health of the animals and dispense advice.
The double impact of the zebu
Impact number 1: You guessed it. By adopting your zebu, you actively participate, in a concrete way, in the agricultural development of Madagascar.
Impact number 2: You also come away with some great profits. Not only is your investment remunerated at 7% per year, but you can dazzle all your friends: talk about your cat or your dog? Boring! But talk about your zebu?
A word from Stéphane, founder of the ZOB
“A zebu is also the ideal gift for your most jaded friends. Even those who are the most worn down by consumer culture will light up at the thought of owning this noble animal.”
These people are zebuphiles: Jacques Chirac, Zinedine Zidane, Yves Coppens (paleontologist), Mireille Ferri (architect of the Grand Paris), Jean Faure (former Senator)… and of course, HTS BIO: our she-zebu’s name is Nella after the name “shewanella”, a bacteria of our bank. Doesn’t she look nice?
Will your name be the next on the list?
7 GOOD REASONS TO ADOPT A ZEBU
N° 1: You help a Malagasy farmer
N° 2: You dazzle all your friends
N° 3: You have an animal without having to take it out in the morning and at night
N° 4: You can tastefully decorate your home with the picture of your zebu
N° 5: You put money into a profitable investment
N° 6: You make your friends green with envy
N° 7: You contribute to sustaining 11 jobs in Madagascar