Young farming couple pioneers egg production for Kamanjab and adjacent communities
Part-time farmer, Efraim Ashuulu and his wife Elizabeth are making a success of their layer business near Kamanjab despite some setbacks they had to endure as a result of the destructive lockdown. Like most farmers of the area, their activities centred mostly on livestock production.
The Ashuulu couple grabbed the opportunity to get into poultry farming in 2018, ordering their first batch of day-old chicks and started the process of raising them. Other than broilers, layers need special feeds, take much longer to reach maturity, but stays productive for a longer time.
With their first egg production, the Ashuulu couple focussed only on the Kamanjab market but their combined expertise quickly made them realise they had to expand their horizon. Efraim is educated in agriculture and Elizabeth in HR.
In the meantime they have also obtained more chicks, growing their number of layers to over 500. Their production settled at just over 1300 eggs per week which were sold to three local schools and to the community. When the schools were forced to shut down, the couple did not waiver, immediately enlarging their marketing circle to include the Erwee and Werda communities, with some distribution to Otjiwarongo and even Oshakati when affordable transport opportunities were available.
At this point, Elizabeth is the fulltime enterprise manager with the intention to move their production facility to their own land, and to grow their output as the market develops. Once they have secured a plot close to Kamanjab, they will relocate their poultry enterprise and expand further while also diversifying into a piggery and vegetables.
Commenting on their steady growth, the two said they were never formally trained in poultry. It was only after they have been producing eggs for nine months that a trainer from Agribank’s Agri Advisory Services taught them about production techniques, record-keeping, marketing and value adding.
It is now their expectation that Agribank will help them with a loan to acquire their own plot near Kamanjab but Efraim laments that collateral is always a problem. He is asking for the bank’s assistance based on their proven track record and his income from his permanent employment.
Caption: Agribank’s Executive for Marketing and Customer Strategy, Regan Mwazi (left) with Efraim and Elizabeth Ashuulu, two upcoming poultry farmers in the Kamanjab area.