5 Reasons Why African Poultry Farming is not Lucrative – Stephen Olurun

Though I’m writing this post for poultry farmers, the content could be useful for every other areas of the Agribusiness too. Let me quickly state 5 major reasons why most poultry farmers don’t make money from their poultry business.

In the last couples of months, I have met with and received calls from more farmers than ever. This gives me a clearer insight into the plights of the African farmers.

Though I’m writing this post for poultry farmers, the content could be useful for every other areas of the Agribusiness too. Let me quickly state 5 major reasons why most poultry farmers don’t make money from their poultry business.

  1. Most Poultry Farmers are Blind to their Market.

By this, I mean, they really don’t understand the market they are playing in.

It’s very common to see Africans waking up one day and think, “Since I have xxx amount of money, which business can I start?”

The next thing he does is going to the internet or speak with some friends. Few days after that, he has read and heard from people that poultry, fishery or pig farming could make him money. The next thing he/she does is to start planning how to start a poultry farm.

Every successful entrepreneur knows that this is a wrong way to start a business.

Before you start any business, you have to spend quality time to understand the market you’re planning to sell to. In the case of poultry business (which we’re using as case study), you’ll have to consider what kinds of poultry products your target market loves and at what time of the year they prefer such.

This is what I mean. Are you planning to sell to a group of people who love to buy broilers, cockerels or only eggs? Would they buy your broilers only in the festive period or always?  How much are they willing to pay for the eggs, broilers and cockerels? Plus, who are the competitors who are already selling poultry products for this market?

You get my idea. To have a successful business (poultry inclusive), an entrepreneur has to start with the end in mind. You have to take some time out, even before you start anything, to understand your target market and the forces of demand and supply.

This is what will give you a great insight into your market and how to play your game as an entrepreneur.

Cockerel - Bizna
Cockerel – Bizna
  1. Not Seeing Poultry Farming as Business

I have seen so many people who are into animal husbandry as if they are “just farmers”. This mindset is common to most people who are “self-employed”. They usually think business is just about buying and selling. This is the major reason why I hate the concept of “self-employment” (I may write a detailed post on this soon).

Poultry farmers who approach their venture as “just” producing and selling eggs/chickens will not go far in the business. In whatever agribusiness you’re into, you must see yourself as an entrepreneur or else you’ll be just another “me-too”.

How do you go about that?

Take some time out to read good books about business. Read about marketing, branding, cash flow management and every other good thoughts and inspiration about business.

You’ll be smarter and successful.

  1. Lack of vision.

Look around you and you’ll see some extremely successful poultry business. It was not by accident. The owners of such poultry farms dreamed it before they saw it.

To have a big end, we must learn how to think big.

Most African bird farmers are happy with average. Their usual excuse is; “I don’t have much money to expand”. Most people who did big thing didn’t have much money too. But nature has a way of rewarding big thinkers. Don’t be happy with any average success. To remain a small poultry farmer is to remain poor. We have poultry farms all around us which are making millions. Why can’t you dream of such?

Fried Chicken - Bizna
Fried Chicken – Bizna
  1. Most Poultry Farmers Lack Willingness to Work With Others.

To succeed in poultry farming business you have to be willing to work with others, both experts and your fellow poultry farmers. The reason is simple; you cannot have half of the knowledge needed to take your business to your dream land.

Many poultry farmers would rather use their heads to think of the appropriate vaccines for a bird’s symptom rather than having a veterinary doctor or (if you have no money to get one), an experienced poultry farmer who could stay by to guild and advice you.

My years of experience in the business world has shown me that, the best way to achieve fast business growth is to work with needed experts and have few close friends in the industry. Your industry’s friends would share their knowledge, experience and discoveries with you. That saves you the time and headache needed to get the requisite experience yourself.

If you’re willing to create a network of people around yourself, it’s actually not very hard. It could be as easy as making and keeping friends plus walking up to someone you know as an expert or experienced person and announce; “I’m XYZ, I need you as my consultant. I want to work with you”

  1. Getting discouraged easily.

Nothing good comes easily. Most people who you see as “overnight” success today are nothing but damned souls who refused to give up when the road was tough. In my personal life as an entrepreneur, I had to spend 7 years and 7 months, trying, failing, making mistakes, before I had my “overnight” breakthrough. I know a friend who gave up and get job. I know many others who never had the courage to start.

The truth is, it’s tough to succeed in the business world.

You must be able to stick to the fight and keep on looking forward. Some would mock you. Others would think you’re crazy. But those are small people who really don’t matter. Pay no attention to them. Endure the process. keep on learning and growing.

  1. Get-rich quick Mentality.

Most of us go into the business world at a time when we need money, NOW. The idea of waiting for success is actually very stupid to a man who is broke. That’s why we all love to be successful, NOW.

Unfortunately, none of us can get rich quickly.

A poultry farmer who wants to start today and make a million tomorrow would soon get out of business. I know it’s not very easy. I have been there before so I know how it feels to be broke. However, as much as you want to get-rich-now, there is no legitimate way to do that.

Patience, Persistence and perseverance are the key to success in any field, poultry business inclusive.

Summary

I believe any inspiring poultry farmer who is willing to get the right business education, take time to carry out some market research, work with other experienced people in the poultry industry, dream big and persevere would eventually become a successful poultry farmer.

I wish you best of luck.

Article contributed by Stephen Olurun, a contributor in Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurship blog, African Business Classroom

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