Investing more in poultry production is very important considering its economic values. But poultry farming requires having the right know-how to be able to do the right things and then get the right results.
It also requires hard work and prompt attention and it is little capital intensive, thus, starting poultry farming on small scale is the best way to enter and learn the business but if you want to start on a higher scale, you need to prepare well for it.
Some people have the money to invest into the poultry business but have no time to supervise the farm, instead they get people to operate it for them and having money to set up poultry business is really not the problem but the problem is to have the knowledge of the business and what makes the business to succeed.
Kakai Sanyang is the national coordinator Jersey Gambia Schools Trust Poultry Project in Sohm, Kombo East and speaking in an interview with this columnist, he said: “Before you go in for poultry farming business, you need to do proper calculation and planning; make sure you have the clear idea of all the costs involved.”
The demand for poultry products is high in The Gambia and the government recognised the pivotal role the poultry farmers contribute to the development of the economy of the country.
Poultry farming according to poultry experts is one of the most popular enterprises within Africa because it serves to contribute to address the food crisis being experienced by most countries before and now.
Parenting of the eggs to the transformational processes, the hatching of the eggs to chicks, are done using the latest state of the art technology and for the first time Gambians will no longer need to import chicks from abroad as inputs for their poultry businesses along with the feed which are now being processed locally at a sister farm in the country called EMPAS Poultry Farm in Farato.
The frustrations they used to endure in importing chicken feed from Senegal and other European countries as well as the losses they incur, not to mention the cost of transportation, all of which they can now save as they can source all of their inputs directly from EMPAS.
Types of chicken
The Broiler Chicken is reared for meat production only and they grow very fast and are ready for sale at 12 weeks from hatch.
The cockerel chicken is also reared for meat production and they grow slower and can take up to twenty-four (24) weeks before they are matured for marketing.
The pullets chicken popularly known as layers are reared for egg production and most lucrative but more stressing compared to others.
Poultry farming, important aspects of agriculture
Poultry farming in The Gambia has become one of the most important aspects of agriculture for the following reasons: It creates business opportunity for entrepreneurs; provide employment for job seeking citizens and is the kind of business that can never dry up and brings in lot of income.
Gambia producing best poultry products
Gambia is producing the best quality poultry products and you can buy a chick or chicken and slaughter and consume it that same day. You can buy eggs that were laid that same day or within that week, but the eggs that are coming from Europe are collected months before they are shipped or get into The Gambia and when they arrive in the country they become rotten quickly.
The local poultry products that are produced locally in The Gambia are the best, and could increase if there is greater control on the importation of poultry products into the country. The Gambia poultry business communities would be able to meet the demands of poultry products if the imported ones are banned or reduced drastically in the country.
Poultry business farmers in The Gambia have a lot of potential to produce more and be able to supply the whole country, and even to export, but they could not produce more when they are not getting the markets.
Gambians to invest in poultry business
As Gambians we need to invest in poultry business, to enable us to obtain and sustain foreign currency because the demands for meat is high and if people go into poultry production like chicken, they would be able to meet the demand of the people.
Poultry farmers in the country established their poultry farms in order to help the Vision 2016 initiative of His Excellency the President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh Babili Mansa: ‘Grow what you eat and eat what you grow’.
Quality of poultry products
The quality and prices of poultry products in the country could not be compared with the imported poultry products from abroad. The opportunity of promoting Gambian poultry products alongside the consumption of better food at cheaper prices and employment of more Gambians should not be allowed to slip through our fingers.
Layers available in the country
In the past some of the poultry business farmers in the country imported their layers from neighboring Senegal and Europe, but now poultry farmers in the country can get layers from EMPAS in Farato, a Gambian owned and Tee Farms Hatcheries located at Latriya village, both in the Kombo South District of the West Coast Region.
One can get poultry feed from Yaffal Feeding in Kanifing but despite the tough competition with the imported poultry products the poultry farmers in the country said they will never slowdown in their pursuit of eradicating imported eggs and meat in The Gambia.
Those who are into poultry farming in the country, their main aim to complement the efforts of government by making Gambia self-sufficient in terms of food production
Author: Lamin B. Darboe