What is the lifespan of a zebu and its milk production?
10 years, during which time she can give birth to between 4 and 6 calves. She produces between 2 to 10 litres depending on her diet and the extent of interbreeding of cow / zebu. We generally buy young zebu of about 2 years old.
How can it be productive if it is a male ?
The farmer uses it to pull a plough (labour) or a cart to transport goods. Its dung is also used as fertilizer. Sadly, the zebu eventually ends up as steak, ZOB (zebu original bag), handcrafted horn accessories and leather garments…
How does the investor get his 7% investment back?
The interest is credited on the “S.O.B.” Solidarity Overseas Bond that will be issued, but is blocked for a period of 2 years and 1 day. Thereafter you may collect it if you come to Madagascar, with your original certificate of ownership, to visit your animal and its host family. That is the incentive to visit this magnificent country. If you wish to collect the whole sum of your “S.O.B” after two years, your money (initial investment plus interest, in Ariary, the local currency of Madagascar) will be available in Madagascar at our office in Antsirabe for a limited period of 5 years (see general conditions).
And if the animal dies or is stolen ?
In the event of death due to the contract farmer, the purchase price of the zebu – minus the reimbursement capital already made by the contract farmer – is deducted from the “S. O. B.” which will continue to run for 5 years. That is the risk one takes when one makes an investment, that it should be ethical ! If the farmer responsible for the dead animal pays back the entire worth of the animal, then the animal is replaced for the benefit of the investor. Should the farmer not be in a position to reimburse the animal or in the event of an accidental death, the animal will be replaced subject to availability, when a calf is born at the ZOB farm and becomes one year’s old. This is only applicable during the 5 year life span of the “S.O.B.”
What is the reaction of the local farmers of Madagascar ?
Very good since it allows the poor access to ownership of a zebu and about 4 or five calves in seven years, plus the milk, in the case of a female… everyday we receive farmers who wish to acquire an animal. No advertising has been undertaken, only word of mouth helped to establish the first contracts. Today our dialogue with the farmers’ association and with the Regional Agricultural Chamber is very constructive.
What is the reaction from the authorities?
Several members of the Government of Madagascar encourage this initiative. However this is a totally private initiative.
Are we going to spread this idea to other countries?
For the moment, we are trying to develop a solid foundation in Madagascar where we are very busy with the demands of European investment and of the farmers of Madagascar. Our priority is to manage this rapid growth. However if we are successful and somebody wishes to launch the idea in another country, we would be happy to discuss it.
Who are you ?
Stéphane Geay, founder, defrocked french cellist and now pilot in Madagascar, Irène Van der Shoot, Cyrille Zebrowski, Charles-Edouard Giblain, Olivia Ramamanjisoa, Paul Sigogneau, Marco Ramaritina Bourgeon.
Why the name zob ?
Stéphane Geay established the aviation company Madagascar Flying Service (M.F.S that acronym sounds funny in French…) in 1992. During an evening of celebration, in his inebriated state, his friends dared him to take advantage of the provocative word “zob” – (very stupid French slang…!) and to create a brand. Initially it was a question of a Zebu Overseas Beer, a line of ZOB clothing, but finally it led to the creation of the zebu Overseas Bank in 1996. In short, what started off as a joke of a name became a reality.
To support a new idea: do not ask the rich to give to the poor, but rather give them an incentive to invest in the basic economy, agriculture… it is the access to credit that is difficult… We are also proud to be the only organisation who tries to help the rich to feel better! Beside this joke, Stéphane Geay found out that his salary as a pilot was 70 times the revenue of a poor family of 8… Something had and could to be done.
How to ensure that this is not a scam ?
Come and see your Zébu right here! Compare it to the photo… We will also send a Zebu hair attached to the official revenue stamp of your original certificate of ownership (Solidarity Overseas Bond, S.O.B). At a later stage you can even conduct DNA tests if necessary to confirm this (is this really my animal or the true zebu of Yves Montand or Albert of Monaco… ??). You will have the name and address of the care keeper of the animal, allowing you to keep strict control. Besides, how can you be certain that your money, invested a few years ago in ENRON for instance, has been utilised intelligently and has not justly enriched somebody’s life ?
How to help us ?
There are many of you who offer assistance and we are grateful to you. We may need assistance in Madagascar where many people and companies are already willing to volunteer aid. Nonetheless, your suggestions are valuable to us to make this idea possible and to seriously make it work.
Where to find us ?
Office : At Anstsirabe, 170 km South of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. In the centre of town, at the market called Antsenakely, opposite the BMOI Bank, next to the Orange phone store.
Ask passers by and the neighbours, everybody knows!
Office telephone: + (261) 20 44 492 04
+ (261) 33 12 000 02 (Stéphane Geay, founder)
How to know if my zebu has caught mad cow disease?
If your zebu moo’s in the following manner, start the barbecue !
If your zebu moo’s in the following manner, plan a vegetarian diet…
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