Alhaji Gambo Saminaka is a popular poultry farmer based in Saminaka, Kaduna State.
In this interview, he reveals how he started his poultry farm with about 100 birds but grew to be the biggest poultry business in the area with over 40,000 birds operating in multiple locations presently.
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What informed your decision to start a poultry business?
Well, I ventured into the poultry business as far back as 2004. Before then, I was an “okada man” a motorcycle rider, here in the town of Saminaka. It was through that enterprise that I was able to raise money and got married after which I stopped and ventured into the sale of motorcycle spare parts. But at a point, I began to think of establishing myself in an entirely different business and that was exactly when I found interest in poultry. So I invested the little I had which could afford me only about 100 birds. That was how it all started.
I put made effort to grow the business and I made a profit within a short while so I felt there’s every need to pursue it with the utmost sense of seriousness. Along the way, I was advised by a veterinarian to focus mainly on rearing the chicks rather than the pullets and I kept to his advice. So I bought 250 more chicks in addition to the 100 pullets already on the ground.
Interestingly, at the time, my wife was the one taking care of the poultry when I was out handling my spare parts business. Gradually I noticed that my monthly earning from the poultry business was higher than the income from sales of spare parts. So, I decided to invest more in the poultry and get more actively involved in it.
So, I gave up a section of my apartment that I had initially planned to make my personal parlour and partitioned it into two; the chicks in one part and the pullets in the other. I am one of those who believe that there must be sacrifice in every aspect of human endeavours including businesses. As the business continued to grow, I bought a plot of land at a place called Unguwan Shuru with a view to further expanding the poultry.
It will interest you to know that up to that moment, my wife and I have been the ones managing it as we considered it a baby factory that we could efficiently handle. There was a time I travelled to Cotonou, Benin Republic to buy a car and spent nearly two weeks. Throughout that period that I wasn’t around, my wife was the only one handling everything about the poultry.
I believe it will even be fair to say that the successes I am recording today in this business are the product of the combined efforts of both of us; I and my wife.
How will you describe the time you started and now?
Well, you know there’s a common experience in the business. Every business that thrives must have encountered some hitches. Poultry farming is not an exception. We have faced numerous issues. The challenges we faced when we started with 100 birds was quite different from when we have up to 40,000. I think the most difficult part of it is handling customers who, on various occasions would not want to pay us until they collect the birds and sold them.
How many employees do you have on your payroll now that the business has grown?
Presently, I have 15 people working under me and I am looking forward to employing more given the continuing expansion of the business.
How many crates of eggs do you realise a day?
Previously, we used to collect no fewer than 570 crates daily but the production rate has dropped to 300 due to certain factors which we are looking forward to addressing and raise our daily target.
Where exactly do you distribute the largest share of your products?
Our distribution is all over. Starting from here, Saminaka, but I think the area that patronises us the largest is Kano State. I want to inform you that I have customers to who I supply about 8,000 crates of eggs; that is one vehicle load daily, and that happens regularly throughout the week.
What is your next target in the poultry business?
My greatest desire in this business is to get properly established in it. I working hard and praying to God to expand the business so that my children will continue with it even after my lifetime.
What is your message for others who will want to get into the poultry business?
My message to whosoever is interested in poultry is to know that there are abundant opportunities in it and should venture into it with the hope that over time, he will add value to his family and society.