For Nigeria to achieve its vision of breaking into the top 20 developed economies by 2020 there is need for agriculture, especially in the poultry sub-sector, to make a paradigm shift from the traditional production system to an intensively technology driven commercial livestock production in order to achieve self sufficiency.
Stakeholders in the poultry subsector have argued that the country has the capability to meet local poultry products demands if all hands are on the deck in the diversification strategies adopted by the government.
It is based on this premise that the natnuPreneur out-grower scheme, promoted by natnudO foods, a sister company to Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited whose farm infrastructure, located in Awe, Oyo state was formed.
The scheme, which is designed to fulfill the chicken needs of Nigerians, is a win-win arrangement that seeks to ensure that good quality chicken meat meets safety standards and are readily available to all Nigerians as well as empowering poultry farmers.
Under the scheme, poultry farmers are provided with loans in form of inputs and are also guarantee a market for their birds at an off-taker price by natundO foods.
However, during a tour of journalists on the natnuPreneur facilities, Albert Begerano, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery stated that the scheme is helping to achieve the food sufficiency goal of the Federal government by exposing poultry farmers to modern technology and farming techniques.
Explaining the interest of the organisation, he said Amo Farm Group was involved in the entire poultry value chain from Poultry Feeds to Day Old Chicks production; sales and distribution nationwide, to Animal Drugs and Nutrition, Poultry processing, and production into consumable finished goods.
Begerano stated that the natnuPreneur scheme offers many services that are backed by the different companies within the Amo group.
Also, Alaba Yunusa, Data Analyst and a Farmer Satisfaction Representative (FSR) said the natnuPreneur broiler out-growers scheme is currently running with 1,156 farmers with the capacity to produce about 3million birds every five weeks.
He said under the scheme about 4.3 million birds have been bought over from farmers under the off-takers agreement with over N4billion made as payment.
Furthermore, he explained that the scheme has the potential to employ over one million people in addition to an existing 5,000 people working directly and indirectly in various capacities.
Francis Toromade, General Manager, Policy and strategy, noted that farmers that are registered under the scheme have consistently enjoyed 7.5 per cent and 15 per cent profit on investment per cycle, stressing that with a potential to conclude as many cycles per year, efficient farmers stand to make between 37.5 to 75 per cent profit per annum thereby making the scheme the most profitable poultry scheme in the country.
“Our plan is to empower farmers by make sure they have good returns on their investment and that is the reason we have decentralised the whole process,” he said.
Gbolade Adewole Coordinator of natnuPreneur, stated that the scheme has engaged over one thousand small and medium scale poultry broiler farmers in Nigeria with intension to help boost supply of high quality locally breed chicken for consumption, across the country, through the provision of inputs, training and a ready market.
According to him, “To guarantee sustainable profit for natnuPreneur farmers, natnudO Foods provides extension services through well trained professionals. These extension workers’ pay regular visits to farms, offer technical, business and project management advice and proffer solutions to problems that may arise on the farms.
“They also connect farmers to the other arms of the company, which are, Amo Byng for their poultry feeds, Diversay Solutions for their drugs and vaccines need. This means a one-stop shop for poultry farmers’ needs. In effect, this has helped to maintain quality and the standards achieved with the programme”.
Speaking further he said, “It is not enough to help farmers achieve profitability after just one cycle. What we are most concerned about is that the profit increases and gets sustained. For this reason, we employed professional counseling on poultry management processes, to help farmers maintain profitability.
T o minimize mortality rate among the flock, Adewole stated that registered farmers on the scheme are guided on how to manage and grow healthy broilers basically to reduce wastages among the flock.
“We also provide them with a feeding, watering and vaccination schedule and supervise their operations,” he said.
According to him, within three years existence of the scheme, partnerships have been established with financial institutions like; Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Sterling Bank, and other commercial banks to finance farmers.
“Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its anchor borrower initiative, has provided credit facilities for farmers on the scheme.
“We have collaborated with top financial institutions and shared resources in the process. Our data and analysis are globally recognised and this is what we use to improve output of poultry farmers for profitability,” he included.
The facility visit also took journalists through some poultry farms on the scheme.
Acknowledging the positive impact of the natnuPreneur programme to her farm business, Mrs. Remi Tomori of Honeydew Farms in Arulogun, Ibadan disclosed that the benefits of the scheme are innumerable.
Specifically, she said application of the knowledge derived from the scheme had greatly reduced the mortality rate of her chicks just as she was also able to curtail pilfering of feeds by her staff.
She appreciated the fact that she does not have to worry about marketing or selling her produce because the natnuPreneur scheme provides a ready market for her products.
“Before we joined natnuPreneur, we were rearing layers with multitude of challenges that ranges from: pilfering, high mortality rate, debt, stress and even marketing problems. To date, people still owe us for what we supplied them many years ago.
“But, natnuPreneur is taking all these risks and stress off us. The scheme is incomparable in terms of returns on investment as I realised more than 50 per cent profit annually,” she added.
Continuing, she said “Our farm has a capacity of 4,000 birds which are presently in their 5th week. We joined natnuPreneur scheme in October 2014 and to date, only 15 birds mortality has been recorded on our farm. Through training and regular visitations, we realised an average weight of 1.8 as against the 1.7 minimum agreed weights. We’ve also been able to do between 5 – 7 cycles per year” she added.