Abdulmalik Abubakar, a thriving entrepreneur, said he has a strong passion for the development of agriculture and that was what led him into medium scale integrated agro-allied products and services.
His business, he said, is composed of poultry farming, fishery, snailery, rearing of rabbit and grasscutters and arable crops production, mainly the cultivation of cassava and maize.
The business which was registered in 2002, suffered set back due to lack of fund but later picked up again. He said he had to take up an opportunity with the National Directorate of Employment where he had some training that helped him to pick up again until the ‘YouWin’ promo came and he picked interest.
“Initially, I was skeptical about participating, knowing that similar government programmes had failed in the past. But at a point I was encouraged and I put in for the first online registration and I emerged as one of the first 6000 participants,” he said.
He said the selection was basically on merit.
He said: “We have been producing on a very skeletal scale, raising about 200 to 300 birds in a circle but since my participation and with the wealth of experience I gained from the training, we have been able to boost our production to about 2000 birds per circle, which is three months.
“What we normally do is to raise these birds in batches so that we can monitor their welfare. As we are harvesting the old ones, we bring in the new ones. This practice is to enable us manage the birds well, particularly for sales and their health.”
Abubakar said farming business is very lucrative, adding that when somebody wants to succeed he needs to put off pride.
“Young individuals do not want to go into farming because they are looking for white collar job especially in the financial institutions, oil and telecommunications companies but I tell you, money is in the bush. Farming is very lucrative and the patronage is very high.
“There is no dull moment in this business because there is no way people will not eat chicken or egg. Fish is another thriving business because people consume it on a high scale now due to its nutritional value.”
He said anyone who makes a decision to go into farm work should hold tight to it and do it with his whole heart to succeed.
On loan facility, Abubakar said he has been skeptical in taking loans because of the problem he encountered when he once accessed a loan.
“At a point I accessed loan for a business I was doing initially but I ran into problem of haulage and demurrage. It was so bad that the demurrage started eating up my capital and the collateral I used was confisticated by the bank in order to get their money. That has been my constraint,” said Abubakar.
With four staff in his pay roll, the 39-year-old ‘YouWin’ awardee said his farm has two visiting staff which comprises of veterinary doctors who look after the health of the birds.
“We try to employ experts so that we can run this place well. One of our staff is an expert in animal science and we have one also in the area of crop science with the veterinary doctor that also visits to check the well being of the birds,” he said.
The challenges in the business he said was financial constraint until he participated in the government programme and he was awarded N10 million of which the first 10 percent have been paid and he is expecting the second batch to be paid this month.
He said there is also the problem of marketing but they are not afraid because they raise quality birds, “There are lots of competitions in the area of marketing but we are not afraid because we have our market and we service them well.”
Erratic power supply seems to affect all kinds of businesses as the graduate of Economics said it is a major problem in the area where he runs his business. “There is no regular supply of electricity here and we need to keep the cage warm and also make use of light in one way or the other.”
Salab CEO said another area the farm is looking up to is the fishery where the construction of the pond is ongoing. “Fishery is another area and that is why we are working seriously to kick start. We have a ready market for it because the demand for fish is very high.”
On the cassava production he said they are looking forward to getting a land when the second batch of the money comes in where they can put up their machine for processing cassava into flour, garri, starch and cassava chips. “All these are in our business proposal plan for the competition that saw us as one of the winners.”
He enjoined the government to continue to assists youth in the area of entrepreneur so that in few years to come people from other parts of the world will start coming to Nigeria to learn.
“There is the need to encourage young entrepreneurs who want to take advantage in different business opportunities,” he said.
Culled from Daily Trust
- Nigeria: Ekiti collaborate UTC, FG on cassava bread (tradenewswire.net)
- Famine, Nigeria and global food crisis (vanguardngr.com)
- Nigeria could save $252m yearly if cassava flour is used in bread – IITA (ghanabusinessnews.com)
“Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it”So how long are we going to “keep on waiting for the world to change”?