This article is continued from the previous post, “Farming Advice Digest Interview with Dr Makinde (Part three)”
FAD: What do you consider to be your best advice for poultry farmer now, in terms of the psychological mindset they should have at this time?
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Dr Makinde: When I started, I said this is a trying time for farmers. Psychologically, farmers should not feel defeated. It is time for us to start thinking that we will make it and we will make it in this business. I tell you, it is a time that one could be discouraged because the profit margin has really reduced. So if you are not psychologically trained, you could lose hope. This is not the time to lose hope, this is the time for farmers to begin to project that there are better days ahead.
I am not always happy when I see farm properties being advertised for sale. You see acres of land with facilities that are being put for sale. These are not good indications; in fact, it could also discourage people who are planning to come into the business. So it is a time to really have a strong mindset and go ahead and do what we believe God has called us to do.
FAD: Do you have anything in mind to say on how poultry farmers can survive and thrive now?
Dr Makinde: For farmers, what I will like to add as part of a good business principle that I will like farmers to imbibe is honesty, which is very important.
Most times, you cannot do your business alone; you need people to support you. You need people that will give you credit. You need people that will trust you for one thing or the other. When you have this privilege as a farmer, you should not miss use this privilege. When you say you are paying back, you should pay back. You should be honest when people give you credit, and make the best use of it so that you can have another opportunity another time.
When people have been able to test you over the years, in terms of integrity and honesty, I am telling you more doors of opportunity will open for you. And I have tested this, I have come across people that are willing to do business with me and have never met me before. When I am given that opportunity, I don’t misuse it. So I want all farmers to inculcate this, to be faithful, responsible, display good character and honesty.
FAD: If I may add, what kind of services do you render in your company?
Dr Makinde: At Totmak Farmers Centre, we provide all kinds of support services to farmers. We provide all major inputs for farmers, starting from day-old chicks, and we also rear point of lay for farmers. We are also a major distributor for major feed companies in Nigeria like TopFeed, Breedwell, Chikun, to mention a few. We also sell fish feeds. Of course, being a vet, we render veterinary services to farmers. We have a diagnostics lab. We also have a veterinary pharmacy, where farmers can get drugs, vaccines and other medication. We also train farmer and conduct seminars whereby we bring farmers together to teach them the modern way of doing business.