Nasir Mansur Mahmoud is the chairman, GoldenYolk Plantations Limited in Niger State. In this interview, the retiree speaks about how he got non-interest funding through Jaiz Bank and started his poultry business.
What is your experience so far in managing a poultry farm?
Immediately after my retirement, I joined a group of farmers. I am into poultry farming.
When I started, I had some challenges but the biggest of them was funding because poultry farming is capital-intensive. When I realised these challenges, I approached Jaiz Bank for financing, which they granted. Right now, the birds I have on the farm have been bought by Jaiz Bank.
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Can you elaborate on this business financing model?
Like every other business, one of the most difficult things about poultry farming is that you cannot predict the birds and the turmoil in the market is also not helping matters. But Jaiz has helped me a lot with funding that has enabled the farm to grow and it is still growing.
The officials of Jaiz Bank helped me a lot through strategic thinking. There are certain things that escaped my calculations. Jaiz Bank came up with a strategy to advise me. For instance, I had ageing birds and was pursuing funding somewhere else. When an official from Jaiz Bank assessed my ageing birds, he called me and said “If we didn’t finance your farm, your business would be suffocated”.
When I did the calculation again myself, I realized he was right and I was wrong in my planning. I quickly went over to him and got his strategic ideas and started implementing them.
Whenever I need a facility, Jaiz Bank is always ready to help me out. I decided who to obtain invoices from, give them to Jaiz Bank and they would disburse. I really appreciate Jaiz Bank for helping me out with strategic thinking, something not every bank does. I appreciate and thank Jaiz Bank for not allowing my business to suffocate.
How would you describe the poultry market in Nigeria?
The poultry market is very big in Nigeria. People from neighbouring countries are coming to get poultry products in Nigeria. I hope to go into exportation of the products soon.
Recently, the market went into turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The price of feed keeps increasing. Before the COVID-19, we bought feed for N2,000 or N2,500 per bag but now it has gone up to N5,000 or N5,500 and the price of eggs is not rising at the same rate. The medications too do not come cheap as more than 90% of them are imported and with the rise in foreign exchange, the price is just unbearable.
With these challenges in the market, did you break even?
Yes, we manage to break even. There are a lot of poultry farmers that are not able to break even and they have gone down. Poultry farms that have 1,000 to 2,000 birds cannot survive. We are just trying to keep afloat and hopefully, we will survive. It is very difficult to survive. We hope it will soon come to an end.
What advice do you have for poultry farmers facing challenges?
They should persevere. I know it is not easy, but we should be ready to face the challenges. Provided you break even, try and continue as the profit will come along the line.