By Chike Onatu, CEO of C-Trus Farms Limited. A poultry farm based in Port-Harcourt.
Farming is one of the few businesses in Nigeria where you can invest N1 and get a return of N100. That is more than 90% profit, if the farm is managed properly and effectively. The agricultural value chain and types of farming are vast but the focus of this piece will be poultry farming since that is my area of my specialty.
Everybody eats whether they are young or old. We eat in our homes, schools, restaurants, etc. We even eat on the plane or while traveling by bus. Even the pets we keep in our houses need to eat to stay alive. So farming is not just an option but a necessity for life and existence.
I started my farm in November 2014 with just 200k and 100 chickens and then proceeded to write a proposal for more inputs into the business. The bank put in money because they saw that I started and the potential of the farm. Today, C-Trus Farms is now a processing farm due to the help from bank. Here are the reasons you should start your own farm now:
Profitability in Poultry Farming
There are more good reasons to start a poultry farm compared to the possible setback or challenges. That is to say, it is a sensitive venture because of the diseases and bio-security that the farmer needs to contend with and overcome. However, if you put in work and be consistent, you will grow to the height you want. There are different ways you can make money from Poultry farming:
- You can sell birds as DOCs (‘day old chickens’)
- You can sell the chickens as meat after a certain time depending on the specie
- You can sell egg produce on a daily basis
- You can sell the faeces of the chicken as manure.
In a nutshell, everything on your farm can bring you money, so, if you invested N1 it can make you up to N100. For example if you have money to buy one chicken for just egg production. After five months of rearing and brooding, it starts laying every day for the next one and half years. Then, imagine what 1000 of that can do.
Free Training Available
The dream to start and run a successful poultry farm has been enhanced with the help of the Internet in terms of research and access to videos on YouTube. If you are really interested in starting up a farm, you ought to take time and read up articles on poultry, visit farms and ask questions, attend training to get all the facts and knowledge you need.
Access to Loans
Banks helped enormously when I needed money urgently to sustain the business. In my experience, banks are willing to invest in farming but they may require you to start first. When I started my poultry farm, it was small but I have grown the capacity since then. However, I was able to get the loan because I had a good business pan. The business plan came from the intensive research I made, then I made the bank a proposal that they couldn’t refuse. So, it is important you are able to write a good business plan or get a professional to write one for you and pay them.
Today, we make 30% profit after all expenses. This is due to the large demand for poultry produce which means that a poultry farmer has no choice but to keep expanding in order to meet up with the demand.
- There are over 170 million people in Nigeria alone who eat on a daily basis.
- We have thousands of restaurants that must cook for their customers. There are thousands of schools with boarding facilities who must cook for their students.
- Thousands of bakers who need eggs to bake and other fast food restaurants
- There are farms that need manure
- There are start-ups that need DOC to start
- Events come up daily, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, official events, etc…the market for poultry products is limitless.
What you Must Know and Do
The main challenge with poultry farming is that poultry feed is expensive so you have to balance between profit and ploughing back your money. You will also need to understand that poultry can easily be affected by diseases. This will require you to have a veterinary doctor nearby and also your bio-security has to be top notch.
You should not be afraid to move forward no matter what. Once you start and begin to achieve your goals, never stop. You must be open to knowledge and training. In poultry business, getting dirty is a part of the job. So be ready to get dirty. Get any space and start. Start today because tomorrow never ends.
On, my part, the future is ‘NOW ‘ to feed and supply Port-Harcourt and its environs with poultry products, satisfy my customers to ensure repeat and referral business. In the long run, the plan is to start taking our products to other parts of the country and to export our products from meat to packaged eggs.