Poultry farming has become so lucrative that many young people have ditched their city jobs — once a key marker of social mobility — to raise and sell chickens full-time
For the past few weeks, Essein Harmony Paul, a 48-year-old farmer from?Ibadan, Nigeria, has been messaging me to ask if I want to buy a dozen live chickens. He insists that his broiler chickens are “world-class,” grown in the “best conditions” and have been fed only natural herbs and chicken feed. When I tell him that I live more than 4,300 miles away, in London, he assures me that shipping won’t be a problem. “I have a friend who travels to London,” he tells me. “The chickens can be with you in a few weeks.”
Paul is part of Nigeria’s fast-growing community of?“agricpreneurs,”?most of whom run small, independent poultry farms on the outskirts of Nigeria’s major cities (primarily Lagos,?Abuja,?Kano?and the aforementioned Ibadan). Via?agricbusiness-centric Facebook groups, they advertise chicks and chickens for sale, share equipment and DIY tips for harvesting eggs, and crowdsource medical advice for poultry that’s become sick or are at risk of infection. Like Paul, few members of these groups are trained in agriculture or even grew up on farms. Some work in finance and law in the city, with poultry farming their side hustle. If anything, poultry farming in Nigeria has become so lucrative that many young people have ditched their city jobs — once a key marker of social mobility —?to raise and sell chickens full-time.?
Poultry farming is booming in Nigeria for a couple of reasons: First, there’s a lot of arable land outside of the country’s major cities. Second, back in 2015, then-president?Goodluck Jonathan?launched the?Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which aimed to make local agriculture a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth. Part of this included providing accessible loans to locals who wanted to grow staple crops such as?bambara groundnut,?castor beans,?cowpeas?and okra. Crucially, though, the agenda placed strict regulations and controls on foreign imports, as well as foreign ownership of land and production companies — giving local farmers a significant competitive advantage.
(May 20, 2021. From “Farmer’s Weekly”)
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Post time: May-20-2021