“Dekoraj Farms is one of the brands to reckon with. There is no place that you go to that people don’t identify with us.”
Venturing into poultry farming business was all that was needed for Rilwan Raji, the CEO of Dejoraj Farms, to break through in business. Having started out at an early age, today, he makes bold to say that he is one of the finest experts in industrial poultry farming in the country.
In this encounter, Raji sheds light on the intricacies of poultry farming and his success story. He also hints starters on how to thrive in the business.
Starting up the business
Apart from the fact that farming has always been something I have passion for, I have also wanted to be an entrepreneur and to render my service to the nation in the area of food production. I also thought of making money.
Sustenance and growth
Poultry farming has really helped me, especially since the new government came on board. The business has been booming. Today, I also manufacture industrial equipment for farms and consult for starters too.
Taking up farming over white collar jobs
This is what I have been doing. It is a family trend. My father is an engineer and my mother is also a a poultry farmer. I have always had it at the back of my mind that I don’t want to work for people, but instead have people work for me. This is apart from the fact that it is a family business. We hardly do salary earning jobs.
Advice to aspiring poultry farmers
It is a business that needs attention. Even if you are not on ground, you need someone that can put in all the attention. If you want to get it right in the business, you have to really monitor it.
Changes phase of poultry farming
Technology has really improved the business. Back then, people reared fowls on bare floors and that made the fowls prone to infections and diseases. Today, we have more vaccines used to cure the diseases that killed birds back them. The battery cage system has also improved things. Once you put the birds in the cage, you are sure of a good turnover, especially if you have a manager that manages the business well for you. There are now automatic cleaners and also automatic feeders to feed them. We now have automatic machines that do all that. This is way different from what we had in poultry farming, way back. So, technology and medicine have greatly improved the business.
Funds needed to start up
No amount is too small or too big to start the business. The kind of profit you want is directly proportional to the number of birds that you will start with. The more the birds, the more the profit. No amount is too small to start.
Do you train starters?
Yes, we do.
We have trained a whole lot of people. Before the year runs out, we are holding an agric seminar/conference in a five star hotel where we will be inviting top stakeholders in the industry. We can then make it an annual event. For now, we do a one-on-one training for people and set up the farms for them. We also seek to help out in labour aspects, help acquire equipment and monitor any investor in such small scale enterprise. We then watch you progress in the business.
Partnering with corporate organisations
Yes, we hope to go into such partnership because we will be inviting a lot of notable resource persons
to come teach and tell people how they have been sailing through the hurdles of the business. For instance , we will be bringing in the Bank of Industry to provide information as to how people can access loans from government.
Challenges for investors
One of the challenges is the management. That is the major thing. If you cannot get an expert to manage it for you, it is just a waste of money. If the person has the safety tips, the business will run well.
Stake within agribusiness
Dekoraj Farms is one of the brands to reckon with. There is no place that you go to that people don’t identify with us. We have set up farms for a whole lot of people. We are usually invited to bigs seminars to come share our experience.
Sailing through competition
A lot of people are coming on board, but what has helped us so far is recommendation and integrity. We also try to introduce new things. Once you are thinking of A, we have started B already.
Stages of growth
That is about the equipment fabrication. We saw some designs in the market and decided to improve on them. Later, some people stated immitating us. We then improved on it again. We are always one step ahead.
Major loss suffered at inception
That is what used to be the case. Even if it still happens, it is on rare occasions. Birds are like human beings. What you won’t take as a human being, don’t introduce it to them because they are animals. You may lose them, if you do that. The person managing the business should know the number of eggs meant to be laid daily. A manager who is not sincere may be robbing you, telling you the birds are not doing fine. So, it is typically about management.
Income from the business
There are some technicalities in that. It depends on how you are going about the business. There are two types. You either rear birds for meat or you rear them for eggs. If you have say N100,000, I will tell you that you can do less than 100 birds for a start and the profit will be minimal. So, with that amount of money, I would advise that you go into birds for meat, by getting broilers. With that, you can begin to produce more birds for eggs purposes.
Consultancy and client
I have big clients but I just can’t start mentioning their names. I meet some online and some through recommendations.
Impression about poultry farming in Nigeria
It is a business that has come to stay and it would stay for as long as people keep craving for poultry foods. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is really improving on that now. Anybody that ventures into it will never regret, especially when you get the right people to guide you. Anyway, Dekoraj Farms is always there to guide any intending or existing investor.
Source: The Sun