Mr Akeem Salawu, An Entrepreneurship Expert, advised small and medium enterprises (SMEs) interested in poultry business to consider the challenges before starting up to avoid making losses.
Salawu gave the advice while speaking in an interview at the sidelines of an ongoing skills acquisition programme in Lagos.
It was reported that the event was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Trust field Global Network Ltd.
The event, tagged, ‘Skill Acquisition Training Programme’ was sponsored by Sen. Olamilekan Adeola, who represents the Lagos West Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
Salawu, who is also the Managing Director, Saatfaok Concepts, said the challenges of running a poultry business could be overwhelming, if not considered prior to starting off.
He, however, noted that if the owner had the right attitude, particularly, determination, nothing would deter him from succeeding.
Salawu said the challenges of the poultry business, include: market situation, lack of knowledge, time and experience. “If you’re rearing for meat, the way the traders will price your birds is not encouraging.
“Sometimes, they’ll ask you to go and come back for your money, after they’ve sold. “Some will even complain to you when you go back that they can’t give you the money because some birds died. “Another, you need to be observant.
“Birds don’t just die, they must have been showing some signs to let you know there’s a problem. “We also like to practice absentee farming; you need to be on the ground, observe, apply medications how it should be done,” he explained.
Salawu further advised those starting the business to start with as little as 100 birds, because of the rising costs of feeds and medication.
“The feeds are very expensive now; before you buy a bag of feed for N800 to N1,000. Now it’s about N3,700,” he said.
Speaking on the training, Mr Usman Daura, Trainer at Trust field Global Network Ltd, said the aim of the programme was to get the participants empowered, self-employed and self-sustaining.
He disclosed that SMEDAN would give grants to the participants to enable them to start their businesses.
Daura explained that apart from poultry management, the participants had also been trained on how to start other businesses such as soap and shampoo making, banking and finance, to help raise funds.
“This training will make it easier for them if they start their businesses because it’s more or less practical and theory,” he told NAN.
Mrs Bukola Olalowo, a participant, said she looked forward to starting her business, especially with the knowledge gathered from the training.
“Among all the businesses we’ve been taught so far, poultry seems to be on the high side because of the location, feeds and medication,” she noted.
Also, Mr John Folarin, another participant, expressed confidence in starting a poultry business soon.
He, however, said location may be a challenge to him because he could not rear the birds in his neighbourhood.
“I would like to start with something like 50, so I can learn on the job; after that, I would like to have maybe, 100 or 200,” he said.