The call by the Federal Government for private sector investment in the Agricultural sector seems to be yielding positive result as many corporate organizations are beginning to show more interest in agribusiness. However, blazing the trail amongst them is Amo group of companies through their natnuPreneur broiler out grower scheme.
While guiding journalists round some facilities belonging to three companies under the Group; Amo Byng, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited and natnudO Foods in Oyo State, Mr. Alaba Yunusa, Data Analyst and Farmer Satisfaction Representative (FSR) stated that unlike in the past when agriculture was perceived as a venture that only provides jobs for the illiterate, natnuPreneur since its inception has shown that formally educated people can be gainfully employed in the agricultural sector. Even young educated Nigerians can venture into poultry farming with the assurance of sustainable profit and capacity development from programmes like ‘natnuPreneur Farmer’.
The initiative, which was revealed, could provide direct and indirect employment for millions of Nigerians, is the foremost and most successful broiler out grower scheme in the country. According to Mr. Yunusa, “The scheme still has in purvey, the potential of providing employment for over 2million Nigerians, within the poultry value chain, that is (Feed mills, Hatchery, Logistics and transportation, chicken processing, chicken distribution and retailing – natnuPreneur seller), if well supported”
This natnuPreneur model of job creation and sustained farmer profitability is a perfect example of what agriculture can do for Nigeria, especially in her fight against unemployment and full economic recovery.
Yunusa, during the two day tour, also mentioned that the vision of natnuPreneur is to create passionate, knowledgeable and wealthy poultry farmers nationwide through sustained profitability while working to achieve the federal government’s food security goal. He also added that the scheme has the capacity to adequately supply the nation with high quality and affordable chicken products.
He further revealed that there is a huge market for chicken production and supply in the country with smuggled chicken covering a consumption deficit of about 70%. According to him, only 30% of the chicken consumed in the country is locally produced. While also explaining that there is massive opportunity for farmer profitability in poultry farming under natnuPreneur, Mr. Yunusa said, “Approximately 1,200,000,000 (One billion and two hundred million) birds are consumed yearly in Nigeria. Our assumption is that if 10% of the 170,000,000 (One hundred and seventy million) Nigerian population consumes 6 packs of chicken a month, a total of 1,224,000,000 (One billion, two hundred and twenty four million) pieces of chicken would have been consumed in 12 months. From a retail perspective, a piece of chicken average sales price is ₦1,000. So, 1,000 multiplied by 1,224,000,000 will give us a value of about ₦1,224,000,000,000. Now, the question is how much of this money is getting to our farmers? This is one question natnuPreneur seeks to give positive answers; we want to ensure that a good chunk of that figure gets into the pocket of poultry farmers through a reliable off-taking arrangement, effective poultry management trainings and capacity building”.
“Between 2014 and 2017, the programme has onboarded 1,156 farmers, under different categories and clusters; off taken 4,348,640 birds; and paid out N4,352,327,119.80 to famers”. This record, he revealed, has drawn the attention of various financial institutions, like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Sterling Bank, Heritage Bank and others, to partner with natnuPreneur and support its famers. Also, because of their well thought out scientific process for broiler farming, natnuPreneur farmers have the ability to do 6 cycles yearly with mortality rate as low as 4%.
“To ensure farmer profitability, we have developed and tested our processes and have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to guide our farmers on effective poultry farming. We’ve also developed a detailed economic model for our farmers – A Net profit calculator, which guards against pilfer, wastage and fraud. And have developed a Buy Back Price equation to ensure profitability; created a database that is searchable across various parameters; and have designed an effective Customer Satisfaction Centre for support services”.
“Presently, we are working on developing a Broiler Training School for farm managers and owners and based on farm practices, we are in the process of developing a mobile application to ease operations and farmer interaction. We’re putting all these things in place to ensure that our farmers are in business and making enviable profit.
“Our happiness lies in seeing farmers increase in capacity since we have the ability to accommodate their produce” he concluded.
While attending to questions from pressmen, Mr. Albert Begerano, COO of the group hinted that the natnuPreneur programme has thrived because of its backbones like, Amo farm which produces about 1,900,000 day olds weekly, with broiler chicks being 800,000 of that number. Amo Byng, which has storage capacity for 500 metric tonnes of feeds and maize, produces between 600-1,000 tonnes of feeds daily. And natnudO foods, where off taken birds are slaughtered and packaged, daily producing 30,000 frozen chickens in the west, 10,000 in the north and 15,000 in the east, totaling 55,000 birds daily with other facilities for storage and preservation like blast freezers and cold rooms that could take over 600 tonnes of frozen chicken in the west alone.
Also speaking with newsmen during the tour, Mrs. Adepeju Cole, a staff of Sandtech Farms, a natnuPreneur farm in Oyo State said “Since we joined the scheme about a year ago, our capacity has increased to 30,000 birds. Presently, we have 20,000 birds on our farm. In fact, this is our 5th cycle with natnuPreneur and it has been quite profitable. Through the help of the FSR in our area, our mortality rate has reduced from 10% to 4% and we’ve also been able to achieve the agreed weight of 1.75 for our broilers” She revealed.
In addition, Mrs. Remi Tomori of Honeydew Farms in Arulogun Ibadan said, “Our farm has a capacity of 4,000 birds which are presently in their 5th week. We joined natnuPreneur in October 2014 and till date, only 15 birds mortality has been recorded on our farm. Through training and regular visitation, we realize an average weight of 1.8 as against the 1.7 minimum agreed weight. We’ve also been able to do between 5 – 7 cycles per year”.
“Before we joined natnuPreneur, we were rearing layers but there were too many challenges; pilfering, high mortality, debt, stress and even marketing problems. But, natnuPreneur is taking all these risks and stress off us. The scheme is incomparable in terms of returns on investment as I realize more than 50% profit annually” she added.
Mr. Toromade Francis, Group Head, Policy & Strategy, while also addressing newsmen said that the essence of the natnuPreneur scheme is to help farmers use fewer resources to get more results and enhance sustained profitability. He added that, poultry farmers are now more efficient and moribund farms have jerked back to life through the initiative.
Lately, the Federal Government is placing special focus on the agricultural sector to create employment for Nigerians, as a means to alleviate poverty. Recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while addressing guests at the Edo Fertilizer Plant commissioning recently in Edo State mentioned that the private sector contribution is vital to the development of the agriculture and the realization of government’s goal of food security.
Osinbajo also assured that government at all levels will continue to do everything necessary to create an enabling environment for the survival of the private sector.
“The Buhari administration takes private enterprise very seriously. We believe that government resources cannot bring about the rapid roll out we need, especially in the areas of infrastructure and industrial development. It is the private sector that can do so. We are therefore committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest and do business in Nigeria”.
“Every State and Local Government must be involved in the effort to ensure that private businesses thrive and create employment opportunities for our growing youth population. By harnessing private capital and the great entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, I believe we can seriously leverage on government resources and accelerate economic development” he had included.
Reiterating the importance of private sector involvement in the agricultural sector of the nation, Mr. Aliko Dangote, owner of Dangote Group of Companies asserted that “there is an urgent need for private sector stakeholders in agriculture to work together towards growing Nigeria’s agriculture, diversifying from oil and gas dependency, encouraging agricultural industrialization, and creating an enabling environment for agribusiness to thrive. NABG strives to engage government at all levels in setting policy direction and regulatory reforms to enable sustainable inclusive socio-economic growth by creating systematic linkages between small, medium and large agribusiness enterprises”.