My name is Kefas Hibiya, 29, born in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria. I am a graduate of agricultural economics and extension, and an experienced poultry value chain business entrepreneur.
The thin line between being rich and poor, full and empty, can happen to any man in this our violence-filled world. But not to remain poor or empty is within our choice, and all it takes is making a strong resolve, backed by determination to re-climb up after the crash.
Once upon a time, I was a proud owner of a small-scale integrated farm comprising a semi-intensive poultry farm with 3,000 layers, beautifully housed in a two-stage battery cages (see picture), and one hectare of vegetables.
My farm provided eggs to 13 egg vendor stores in 13 villages, located across three neighbouring local government areas of Mubi-North, Michika and Uba/Askira, in Adamawa and Borno States of Northeast Nigeria.
Life was good, as my business blossomed at an alarmingly fast rate, generating a good income that enabled me to network with friends to develop a youth entrepreneurs club, named Dab Kir Club, with 26 members, in my village of residence, with all businesses built around the poultry value chain: mini egg menu cafes, organic vegetables produced using fertilizer from poultry dung mixed with saw dust, etc
But, tragedy struck in November 2014, when my world crashed from grace to grass. The terrorist group Boko Haram invaded my community, taking over security, slashing people’s throats and recklessly shooting any young man that failed to support them.
After displacing our community, they looted and destroyed everything including agricultural produce and farms, especially livestock and provisions stores. The terrorists carted away our stock for feeding their soldiers and selling to their supporters.
That is just my unfortunate life story, out of which I discovered a bigger opportunity: I am determined to push on to rebuild a bigger business empire.
My zeal to re-establish my poultry value-chain business
After the Nigerian military recovered my community in January 2015, and the people gradually returned home, an egg-supply vacuum was created. This led to inability of the surviving members of my poultry value-chain co-op members to reconstruct their business. Likewise the 13 village vendors could not restore stability in their egg distribution value chain in their various villages.
I am now faced with dire challenge to raise capital to rebuild my poultry business from to resuscitate what Boko Haram destroyed: a value chain market built over the years.
In addition, I am involved in an internally displaced persons (IDPs) support and advocacy NGO called End of Violence and Restoration of our Ancestral Homeland (www.evrah.org), which has exposed me to the challenges and better business opportunities in IDP returnee communities.
Such opportunities in agribusiness include: egg supplies to malnourished children NGOs, feed-the-children school programmes supported by NGOs and the Government of Nigeria, and mini egg food menu cafes. The last of these offer a quick menu of eggs and noodles, eggs and bread sandwich, etc.
Such mini cafes are now mostly the saving grace of returnee IDPs, who have virtually no resources to fall back on after the terrorist destruction of their communities. The survive on weekly/monthly feeding tickets offered by NGOs or handouts from good Samaritans.
Hence, reviving my poultry value-chain business will mean a lot: it will serve as key means of resuscitating my community youth entrepreneurs co-ops, as well as saving the children from malnutrition.
My new Concept for re-establishing my egg value-chain business
Due to inadequate capital, I plan to redesign my poultry value-chain business to allow for gradual expansion. I plan to start with 500 point of lay stock (layers), to supply first ten mini food cafés of our co-op members.
After which, I will gradually save money to expand the business to cover all the co-op members, Then, reconnect to the 13 villages egg vendors. And, finally, get a contract to join the feed-the-school-children suppliers.
My existing business foundation
Currently, I have my recovered battery cages reassembled, after the destruction, and have got a smaller shade rebuilt. This is while I try to raise funds to purchase stock (point of lay). That is what I have to rebuild on.
My success gauge
I shall consider my business to have scored acceptable success when I attend the capacity of rebuilding my village Youth Entrepreneurs Club (Dab Kir Club), and return all members to successful steady source of income generation businesses.
That, I believe, will enhance my market, empower over 100 young men economically, and provide food security to my returnee IDPs community kids.
My re-structured business budget can fit in to the USD 5,000 grant as follows:
- Purchase of 500 Point of Lay pullets @ USD 8/unit = USD 4,000
- Purchase 60 units of 25kg layers feed @ USD 15/unit = USD 900
- Purchase of four-litre disinfectant for bio-security and other consumables = USD 100
Blogpost and picture submitted by Kefas Hibiya (Nigeria): kefashibiya[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #149 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 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.