Poultry Farmers Share Survival Strategies Amidst Current Challenges

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 Poultry Farmers Share Survival Strategies Amidst Current Challenges

 

Lack of capital and the current rise in the prices of feed and layer birds are pushing many Niger State women out of poultry farming, but some are adopting many strategies to survive.

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The manager of Al-Amman Farms, Khadijah Adamu Ndanusa, told our correspondent that women are more than men in poultry farming but lack of adequate capital and support, in terms of grants and loans from the government and financial institutions, have forced many to stop the business.

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“I started poultry farming in 2018 during my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. I started the business from the little savings from my NYSC allowance. At a start, I constructed a small cage with a capacity of 10 birds. But currently, I have expanded. The capacity of my broiler farm is between 200 and 250 birds.

 

“I have a farm I rented at Talba Farm with a capacity of 2,000 layer birds. I started with broilers but I am into layers. I have about 2, 000 layers on ground now,” she said.

 

Mrs Ndanusa said the current economic hardship had also affected most women in poultry farming, lamenting that the prices of feed have increased.

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“When I started the poultry farming, I used to buy feed at the cost of N2,300 (that is for the finisher) and the grower cost N2, 800. But currently, a bag of starter feed is N18,000 while that of layers is N19,000. The price of layer feeds increases on a daily basis due to the demand and supply of eggs and competition in the poultry market.

 

“As at 2018 when I started poultry farming, I used to buy broilers at N150, but today, a day-old broiler is N830; and the price increases every week. The price you bought it on Monday will be different on Friday.

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“I buy broilers from hatcheries in Ibadan, Oyo State. I don’t buy from street vendors because it is full of fake ones. They buy fake birds and put them in cartons and sell to poultry farmers, and along the line, we have challenges rearing them,” she explained.

 

She said the future of women in poultry farming was bright, but there’s the need for the government to come in to support them financially.

 

“In the next five years, my prayers and effort are to see my poultry farm as one of the biggest in Niger State, producing chickens for the entire country.

 

“I rented a place at Talba Farm at N200,000 per annum. That is where I rear my layer birds. It has a capacity of 2,000 birds,” she added.

She attributed the rise in the price of eggs to the rising cost of feed, saying, “It has drastically reduced the number of birds I stock, in terms of broilers. For layers, I started with 200 birds, but now, I have 2,000, while for broilers, recently, the least I stocked was 100 due to the increase in the price of feed. Due to lack of adequate capital, I have found it difficult to maintain the chickens now. The only financial support I have enjoyed was from my husband. I have never been supported by the government, either in form of grant or loan.”

 

She called on the Niger State Government to establish hatchery centres in the state to reduce the cost of transporting broilers from other states.

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“Having hatcheries in Niger State will also encourage many housewives to venture into poultry farming because they can easily buy. But as a starter, it is hard to order for birds as far as Ibadan, Oyo State because of the cost of transportation.

 

“Many women want to venture into poultry farming but they have no capital to do so. Women need to be supported financially. Bringing broilers from Ibadan costs us N1,500 per carton of 50 birds. And some birds die on the way because of stress,” she said.

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Hauwa Mohammed is also thriving in poultry farming despite the hectic economy in the country and cost of feed and broilers.

 

“Poultry farming is not for men alone, it is for both genders. Many women have now ventured into poultry farming more than even men. The major challenge women face in poultry farming is lack of capital, as majority of them don’t have anybody to help them. If we would have our way, we would like the government to support women in terms of capital, either in terms of grants or capital. They should be made available to women so that they can have something doing.

 

“I market my birds through the social media – Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. I expected that by now, my farm would have expanded beyond its current capacity, but due to lack of adequate capital and the rising cost of things, I am finding it difficult. There was a time I even shut down the farm due to the economic challenges in the country. I only recently reopened partly,” she said.

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She advised other women, especially housewives, to venture into poultry farming as a way of supporting their families.

 

“My advice to other women is that no matter the love you get from your husband, they should stand up and struggle to be financially independent. Husbands and wives need to support each other, especially with the current economic hardship in the country. If a wife supports her husband, things will become easier for him and the family,” she said.

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