When you think about poultry, you should think about meat and eggs. Poultry farming has proven to be a very lucrative business. It involves raising various types of domestic birds commercially for the purpose of meats and egg production. Poultry in Africa includes chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, geese, ducks, quail and pigeons farming.
Poultry farming is lucrative and creates employment opportunities and high return of investments. In Namibia, the broiler industry contributed 0.71% to its overall Gross Domestic Product in 2017 according to an economic impact assessment commissioned by the local poultry association. The Namibian boiler poultry industry has great potential in creating jobs, food security, and industrialization.
The Nigerian poultry industry is estimated at $800 million and is comprised of approximately 145 million birds. Nigeria presently produces above 550,000 metric tonnes of poultry meat and 700,000 metric tonnes of eggs per annum. It is the largest producer of eggs in Africa.
Also, the poultry industry is the largest segment of the South African agricultural sector, contributing more than 16% of the GDP. It provides employment, directly and indirectly throughout its value chain. Uganda also offers opportunities for poultry farmers. It offers great opportunities for poultry farmers around the world to invest.
Before you start a poultry farm, take out time to learn about the business. A successful poultry farm is as a result of commitment and time invested in rearing the birds.
Before you Start a Poultry Farm
This will help you know if the business is viable on all fronts including the business viability, technical viability, operational viability, etc. the feasibility study includes the introduction, product, technology, market environment, industry, financial projections, risks factors, and regulations.
Determine the location. The size of land depends on the number of birds you want to raise. It is not advisable to acquire land in major cities, it’s better to purchase land in a rural area. Get land in non-residential areas because of the foul odor from bird excreta. Also, keep in mind the availability of water supply, nearest to market and logistics cost.
Determine the kind of breed you wish to farm for commercial poultry. Broilers grow very fast and are used for commercial meat production. Layers produce more eggs for commercial purposes. Cockerels are another type of meat productive poultry breeds. They grow slower than other breeds and can adapt to almost all types of environment.
Make plans pertaining to the production type (determine whether the farm is for egg or meat)
Decide whether to produce for commercial or personal purpose. Commercial farming requires the hiring of labor.
Housing facilities (free-range, furnished cage, battery cage, yarding). You also need to determine what is needed for the setup.
Customers logistics system to use, to determine whether you will need an extra hand to transport your feeds, produce or not.
Decide the people you produce for and make contacts with traders/consumers.
Choose the right feeding plan for the birds to be healthy and highly productive. Always provide an adequate amount of food according to the number and age of poultry bird. Supply sufficient amount of water and vitamins too.
Make adequate plans for constant cleaning of the housing facilities. Birds are very sensitive and may suffer from viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases. Proper vaccination is required to keep birds disease free, healthy and productive. A vet doctor should vaccinate the birds frequently.
After conducting a feasibility study and writing down your business plan, start by farming a small number of birds).
With 45% of the world’s unused agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa, there is great potential for the poultry industry to grow. South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Senegal, Angola, Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, and Ethiopia are currently growing markets on the continent, all with expected year-on-year growth in the range of 6 to 10 percent between 2015 and 2025.
Source: Meet The Farmers Conference.