This article is continued from the previous post, “Farming Advice Digest Interview with Dr Makinde (Part two)”
FAD: What do you consider to be your best advice for poultry farmer now, in terms of poultry product sales and marketing?
Dr Makinde: This has been a challenge over the years when it comes to marketing farm products. Those who are making the money seem to be the middlemen, who buy from the farms and sell at a good price outside the farm gate. I think it is time for farmers to come together, and if possible there should be a unity in the prices of the products farmers are producing. I know that it has been a difficult thing to achieve this, but if there is no unity, it will be difficult to build up this industry.
There was a particular time in a particular state, where a group of farmers refused to sell their farm products. That they are meant to control the price of what they produce because they know what they put into producing it and they know the price they are supposed to sell. Now market women will come around and dictate the price for them and if they refuse to sell they will say they are not buying. So farmers are forced to sell at the price they are dictating to them. So this group of farmers agreed that they are not selling anything and they closed down their farm gates. They said they are not going to sell until the middlemen agree to the price they want to sell.
I think it is time for farmers to come together as a body to agree on how to move ahead so that the industry can be self-sustaining.
FAD: What do you consider to be your best advice for poultry farmer now, in terms of general business principles?
Dr Makinde: Business principles should be applied even when it comes to farming. We should stop seeing farming as a business that belongs to the aged people. So the right business principle should be applied. What do I mean by right business principles? like every farmer should have a vision, must have a projection, must have a budget and must have a business plan. These are some of the things that are missing for some farmers when it comes to the farming business.
In this day, you see a farmer starting a farming business and suddenly he is stuck. That shows that the business has not been well planned for. There is no proper business principle in such farming operation. I met a number of farmers that are raising birds and suddenly they got stuck, they cannot go forward or backwards. There was a time I met a farmer who had ten thousand birds and by the time the birds were eight weeks old, he could no longer feed them. In a situation like that, it shows proper business principles have not been applied.
So farmers should know what it takes to do a proper budgeting, proper planning, and a proper market survey, these are some of the business operation principles that farmers should imbibe. And of course, training is also part of good business practice that farmers should also imbibe. Farmers should learn to train their workers and the farm business owners should also learn to go for training from time to time because things are changing and they should be able to change with the current trend. I think with this, farmers should be able to do better than what they are doing
This interview will be continued in the next post.