By Ayo Alonge, [email protected]
Amid the lingering hike in the price of eggs at the local market, Rilwan Raji, who is the founder of Dekoraj Farms and Equipment Company, has reeled out the causes and the solution to the seeming economic upheaval.
In this interview, Raji also discusses the profiteering of the business as well as prospect for new investors.
Anyone who wants go into farming must develop passion for the business. It is a profitable business to venture into but not a bed of roses. You need extreme patience and managerial knowledge which could be acquired through training. That is why Dekoraj Farms and Equipment Company is here to mentor and guide prospective and existing farmers so as not to have a bad investment and to get a return on investment. Farmers must be well equipped in terms of knowledge and ensure they build a team which sincerely shares a vision.
The first is the high cost of feed. This is really affecting a large number of farmers, as this is really affecting poultry business in Nigeria, adversely. Some farmers are closing up their poultry businesses due to high cost of feed. Maize is expensive; soya beans, methionine, lysine, wheat offal, among others are all expensive. Farmers are struggling to survive in this business and this is really not encouraging.
Government policies exist as one of the challenges too. The policies are not favourable for average farmers and need to be revisited. Government should ensure they give all necessary supports to farmers, roll out plans and method that will ensure farmers have smooth farms.
Insecurity has become a trend lately and is forcing most farmers out of business.
Most of the farmers feel they are not safe any longer as they are being attacked on their farm which is not good for poultry business and agriculture as a whole. Insecurity is really affecting sellers of poultry raw materials so badly. We hope the government will do the needful so as to encourage farmers to go back to farming.
Exchange rate is another major thing that is really affecting the business so bad lately. This has made poultry business difficult. Poultry business is highly profitable, with chains of production. The naira is falling against the dollar and it is really causing issues for poultry business, while the farmers are not enjoying this. Everyday increase is not healthy for the growth of the poultry business. Strategies should be carefully rolled out to take care of this regular naira fall, with all necessary implementation strategy deployed.
The high cost of feed is one of the major causes of the recent hike in egg price. This has really affected poultry business as it becomes a survival of the fittest. People who are managing doing this business in this trying times are enjoying overwhelmingly with a lot of customers on other farms.
The solution is that government should come up with policies to make maize, soybeans, and other input readily available for use at a cheaper prices. If the price of feed comes down drastically, the price of egg will reduce. The high feeds cost has eaten deep into expected profits from poultry farmers and this has made some farms close up, as they don’t have the financial strength to carry on. That is why they are selling at outrageous prices. Government should engage an enforcement team so as to regulate the price nationwide. Government should also roll out plans and methods to increase naira rate against the dollar.
It is a business of numbers. The more money you put in, the better the business gets for you. As an estimate, you can start with N100,000. When you start with a good amount, you tend to enjoy the business more. It will save you a lot in terms of logistics cost. There are some of the vaccines that come in a higher dose for a particular number of birds. If you don’t have birds up to that quantity, it will just be a financial waste on your side, as some of this vaccines are always good as single dose. Trying to refrigerate them can still make them lose their potency, except where a very experienced vet doctor handles that which is not so easy. You can start small and grow big.
I think people who enjoy a bigger profit are the middlemen who buy cheaper from farmers and sell higher to retailers and final consumers. The middlemen are really killing this poultry business as they use jugular methods of holding farmers to ransom. They buy at their own dictated price. Most times, they buy on credit from the farmers who are weak in marketing and management of the business.
What they do is this when they buy from farmer A; they owe him telling him they will make payment once they sell the egg and immediately, they move to farmer B. They start giving them flimsy excuses for not paying, all in the name of making more illegal profits for themselves. The farmers take the highest risk and only enjoy a small amount while middlemen enjoy more. This is really affecting poultry business, and that is why we have a lot of trainings for intending and existing farmers on how to make good profits and how to successfully run it. Currently, we are designing platforms that allow farmers sell directly to final consumers at their desired price.
Also, for people who want to go into different farming but they don’t want to be active, they can sponsor or invest in our different farming programmes with a low amount and make good ROI.
We are launching this app shortly which will be available on iOS and Play Store which will enable them enjoy the beauty of farming. There will be comprehensive insurance on all our farming programmes.