My name is Bukola Idris, a young Agripreneur and owner of Sholzy Integrated Farms; I am 30 years of age from Nigeria. A wife and mother of 3 beautiful children, I have been unemployed for 5 years and I recently decided to go into animal husbandry due to my personal experience seeing my parents rearing animals on a subsistence basis and my desire to key into the government’s policy with emphasis on diversification of the economy, private sector provision of employment opportunities to the millions of unemployed youths and equally to be able to support and contribute to the growth of my family financially.
I acquired a small piece of land in a remote village in the outskirt of where I currently live in Nigeria through personal savings and my husband’s support. I have, with the help of my husband, put a brick fence round the this piece of land and built a pen-house and a basic goat-house to accommodate birds, locally breed goats, sheep and rams. Because of the adaptable nature of these local breeds of animals, the mobility rates are very low and the availability of feeds for these animals is easily accessible and relatively affordable to buy during the dry season when feeds are scarce.
The establishment of Sholzy Integrated Farms is aimed at providing affordable proteins, bridge the gap in unemployment rate among Nigerians, contribute to the per-capital income of Nigeria and increase the foreign exchange earnings of Nigeria. I also built a security house and recruited a farm attendant that doubles as security man for the farm. The farm currently boasts of 11 local Fulani breed goats (9 females and 2 males), 3 sheep, and 11 Rams of Balami breeds. Also, clean water is a necessity and factor to a successful animal husbandry business and well-water has been dug within the farm premises, to ensure that the animals have access to clean drinkable water.
This farm project intends to expand and put in place some other facilities that can ensure the vision behind the establishment is achieved. The farm needs to procure more animals which includes addition to the goats, rams and birds, while hoping to get its first set of cows to join the rest of the animals currently in the farm and this is guaranteed within 2 to 3 weeks with funds at my disposal. The well-water dug requires a pumping machine and piping of water to strategic points around the farm, this will make the needed frequent changing of water easy, guaranteed and the community members will benefit from fetching of clean water at no cost as a tap will be make available outside the farm for this purpose, all of these is achievable in less than 3 weeks if funds is made available. A greenhouse within a section of the farm will be an additional income and put to use, the animal waste generated from the farm, acquiring additional space close to the present farm will enhance the possibility of establishing a greenhouse where selected vegetables will be grown.
Sholzy Integrated Farms intends to start the packaging of feeds for animals on a commercial basis, especially with the agitation of many Nigerians asking animals to be keep in ranches across the country, this feeds will surely have large patronage. With availability of funds, the machine for milling this feeds can be purchased, installed somewhere around the farm at least within 3 months from the date the machine is ordered and paid for and this will surely create additional employment opportunities by engaging women to go round and source for the available abundant raw materials for the feeds and another person who will be trained to handle the machine, while it will also serves the feed needs of my animals in the farm.
The need to engage a permanent veterinary doctor is vital, as the animals will requires consistent monitoring and treatment and this cost extra money which the farm cannot afford at the moment. When this is put in place, it will avert loss of animals to diseases. My farm business is yet to be registered with Corporate Affairs Commission; the advantage of having the farm register is enormous, it is prerequisite for getting government or private contract to supply farm produce and this cost some money but can be done within a period of one month, if funds are available.
A good accounting system and tools that will help monitor financial expenditure and cash inflow is necessary and this can be achieved by printing of basic accounting tools such as stock cards, cash flow register, inventory/assets register, box files, stationaries and engagement of a part time accountant to take charge of the farm’s account related issues and documentations. All these is achievable in 4 weeks with access to funds. Though the farm has been fenced but still requires additional security measures, with funds made available, under one week, a barbwire will be installed on the top head of the fence, to provide additional measure in securing lives and properties on the farm.
The number of persons employed by Sholzy Integrated Farms is an important indicator that will determine the success of this farm project. The vision is to provide 5 direct jobs and at least 10 indirect jobs all coming within the host community where the farm is situated within the next one year of access to funds.
Having at least 80% of the female animals deliver a newborn will be considered a great measure of success while the male animals get sold at least 40 to 50% higher than what they are purchased. Production of 500 bags of feeds by end of one year of installation of the milling machine will be a great deal in measuring success. With the proposed greenhouse in place, water pumping machine installed and a good piping water system within the farm equally in place, supplying of fresh vegetables to the local community and even some major super stores like Shoprite will be made possible and extra incomes aside the ones coming from animals sales will be made possible and this surely will be a yardstick for measuring success of Sholzy Integrated Farms.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Bukola Idris (Nigeria) – bukeshi1131[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #96 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a WordPress.com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.