A poultry farmer from the state of Bayelsa, Harmless Aluu, tells OPEYEMI ADEFEMI how the devastating state of flooding destroyed his farm
Inform us a bit about your self.
My identify is Harmless Aluu. I’m a farmer. My farm is within the state of Bayelsa; in Ogbia Native Authorities Space of Bayelsa State, however I’m a local of Abia State of Arochukwu Native Authorities Space.
How lengthy have you ever been in poultry farming?
That is my fourth 12 months in poultry farming and the expertise had been glorious for me till this 12 months. I had a farm in Akwa Ibom state however needed to shut it down and transfer to Bayelsa in December 2020.
What made you progress your farm from Akwa Ibom State to Bayelsa State?
The primary motivation was cash. I noticed that within the state of Bayelsa there are just a few farms. On the time I moved, a field of eggs was promoting in Bayelsa state for as much as N1650, whereas in Akwa Ibom state it was promoting for N1250 on the time.
He lately made a put up on social media lamenting that he suffered nice losses because of the floods that hit the state of Bayelsa. How precisely did the flood have an effect on you?
Earlier than shifting to Bayelsa State, I took my time to check the realm the place I positioned the poultry farm. I did my analysis on the sample of flooding within the space. I obtained details about the extent of earlier flooding within the space and the extent to which individuals have been affected. Based mostly on my findings, I selected an space that was not all the time vulnerable to flooding. I used to be instructed that the floods by no means attain the place and that was my expertise till this 12 months. Final 12 months there was a flood but it surely didn’t have an effect on my farm. Sadly, this 12 months the flood was so unhealthy that it divided the highway the place I get provides for the farm. We had little meals and drugs for the birds, but it surely was troublesome to get them. When that occurred, it grew to become an issue to feed our 10,000 birds.
We resorted to going to the retail shops to purchase feed and that introduced an issue, as a result of we had to purchase completely different manufacturers of feed, which is one thing that isn’t actually good for these birds. As a rule, that isn’t the best way to feed the birds on the farm, however the floods had disrupted our operations. We saved driving and ready for the floods to recede. Sadly, the floods didn’t.
The aspect impact of extended flooding is that it introduced illness. So we weren’t simply combating to feed the birds, we have been additionally combating hen flu. Avian flu has been within the Bayelsa state for a while, however we managed to stop it from coming into our farm. Nevertheless, the flood introduced him to the farm. It was an excessive amount of for us to deal with. Even our therapy plan was interrupted.
We even have a fry hatchery. The plant that was destined for the hatchery was destroyed by the floods. We even have fish ponds with rising fish. When the floods got here, the fish started to die. Each day we went to verify the ponds, we discovered fish floating round. We misplaced all of the fish.
For birds, each day losses elevated from 20 to 100 birds; so we recorded 200 deaths. When he walked from the start of the poultry farm choosing up useless chickens, by the point he walked again he would discover one other 100 useless birds. At the moment we simply did not know what to do once more.
What’s the complete variety of chickens you misplaced?
By the point we checked, we had misplaced a complete of 9,400 birds. Even the 600 birds that survived, I needed to name folks to come back decide them up for N500 every. These have been birds that ought to have bought for N3,000 every.
Earlier than this downside began, we had made an association with somebody from Aba to come back and purchase the chickens. We have been nonetheless going backwards and forwards on value when the issue began. If he had bought the birds for N2,500 every, he would have earned N25 million. We used to obtain a mean of 188 containers of eggs a day. It ought to have been greater than 300 containers however as a result of irregularities in provides. Concerning the hatchery, we are literally one of many largest producers of fingerlings within the state of Bayelsa. Earlier than we began, most individuals used to go as much as Delta State to get fingerlings or grower fish and so we determined to spend money on that.
For the primary time we have been capable of do it proper since we began. I used to be already jubilant as it will have been an excellent win for me. We had orders for them for the fry. One man particularly positioned an enormous order. We solely had two extra weeks to begin distributing the fry to the individuals who positioned the orders when the issue began.
Have you ever estimated how a lot you have got misplaced by way of cash?
I’ll say that I’ve misplaced a minimum of N75m. We evacuate all useless birds and bury them. I had a gathering with my farm staff. All of them appeared unhappy. I do know I had misplaced cash, which is painful, however after I checked out these folks, the ache was even larger. These have been folks I satisfied to go away their earlier jobs and are available work for me. The man who ran the poultry farm was introduced from Lagos, the man who ran the fish was introduced from Akwa Ibom. I’ve one other particular person from Plateau State. They have been all pulled from their earlier jobs to work with me and the expertise had been wonderful. All of those folks have households to take care of. Taking a look at it, the place will they begin? He could not inform what was going by means of their minds, however he might see the hopelessness on their faces. Nothing might be executed concerning the state of affairs.
How do you’re feeling about all this?
I really feel hopeless. I am nonetheless attempting to find out the extent of injury to the farm as I can not get again to work immediately. There will likely be quite a lot of upkeep and repairs to do. If I put all this into consideration, it implies that I’ll want a big sum of money to begin over. Proper now, I am begging the federal government to come back to our support. The 17 staff of the farm are additionally helpless. This may positively have an effect on the state as a result of if the few farms current are packing, which means the state will likely be depending on different states for meals and it will affect costs. That is all of the extra purpose why I would like the federal government to come back to our support and get us again on our toes. Agriculture is one thing that I’m actually obsessed with and earlier than this occurred, I had an settlement with IFAD, a global group. They got here and checked out my farm and it was licensed as probably the greatest within the state. Even the CBN (Central Financial institution of Nigeria) had been to my farm numerous instances. I used to be already within the strategy of changing into one of many coaches within the state. These are the issues that if nothing is completed, I’ll lose. And who is aware of the quantity of people that must be educated and won’t have the chance? I’m begging the well-intentioned Nigerians, the Bayelsa state authorities and the federal authorities to see how they may help us.