Nakibuuka Defied age to succeed in Uganda Poultry Farming
Born in Kajjansi, Wakiso district in an extended family, Rosemary Nakibuka never had a chance to go to school because her father only cared about boys' education. But this never stopped her from becoming successful.
She started a small shop in Kajjansi market, but it was short-lived because thieves broke into it and made off with everything.
Nakibuka also used to sell tomatoes and matooke and it is from this that she raised money to educate her children since she had lost her husband.
Nakibuka, however, soon realised that she was not benefiting from the market because she was selling perishable goods. She was making losses because her products could sometimes rot when they took long to be sold, so she decided to look for an alternative.
Nakibuka opted to start a business at her home. At the time, she was getting between sh4,000 to sh70,000 a day from her market sales, but abandoned the market to start a poultry farm.
She used to save sh20,000 everyday and managed to buy three acres of land.
At 70 years, Nakibuka does not regret leaving her market job because she earns more than some people who are in formal employment. She is also better off than most old people who look up to their children for what to eat.
How she started
Nakibuka used to lose a lot of goods, especially tomatoes, because there were days she would not sell. So in 2006, she decided to venture into something else.
Nakibuka approached a friend who was rearing pigs, but she discouraged her. So, she decided to start a small poultry farm of about 100 birds.
She opted for layers because she had noticed how expensive eggs were. Gradually, the number of birds on her farm grew to over 2,000. Her income increased and she bought four more acres of land.
Nakibuka planted sugarcanes, eucalyptus and bananas, each on one acre. On the remaining land, she constructed four chicken houses, each able to accommodate over 500 birds. She also set up a pigs sty in which she keeps five pigs and 15 piglets and a small vanilla farm in her compound.
And from pigs, she gets over sh1.3m per year, while from vanilla she gets sh400,000 annually. She hopes to expand her farm because she wants to leave her grandchildren in a better shape.
Six years down the road, Nakibuka does not regret having left because she earns big. From the sale of eggs, she earns about sh200,000 per week, meaning that in a month she has earns about sh800,000.
Feeding the chicken and pigs
Nakibuka says she normally buys feeds from Kagodo feeds, but that she sometimes buys maize bran from the nearby maize mills and mixes the feeds herself to cut costs.
With pigs, she feeds them on maize bran, banana peelings and grass. She adds that she treats her chicken regularly to ensure that they remain productive.
Sometimes, the weather affects her chicken, especially in the dry season they are affected by cough.
Nakibuka says she has permanent customers whom she calls when she has enough eggs.
She also says she visits the market regularly to research on the cost of the products.
Nakibuka sells her sugarcane to traders in Kajjansi market and in a year she sells about five tonnes.
Annually, Nakibuka earns over sh17m. She says she has forgiven her father for not allowing her to study because she is better off than her brothers who went to school
Initially, she thought things would be simple, but the six years have not been so easy for her because farming requires good management.
Nakibuka also says theft is her biggest challenge because her chicken are normally stolen at night. Sometimes even the workers steal eggs.
She also blames the raising costs of chicken feeds. She says that she used to buy 100kg of mixed feeds at sh120,000, but now it costs sh210,000, yet people want to buy products cheaply.
Nakibuka faces a problem of unreliable workers. She says she has to change the workers every three months because they steal her eggs, yet she pays them well, feeds and accommodates them.
She explains that sometimes diseases kill a lot of her chicken and that whenever the chicken get an infection they do not lay eggs or they take days without laying. She says the commonest diseases are Newcastle and Gombolo.
Sometimes, the weather affects her chicken, especially in the dry season when they are affected by cough.
Nakibuka advises the youth to embrace agriculture. She also tells them to be more innovative and not to rely on the Government for capital and jobs.
The New Vision Newspaper
By Andrew Masinde