Bienvenu successful in poultry farming
Bienvenu Ijeme (43 years old) and his wife Justine Azangbe (41 years old) live in the village of Dovi, Benin. Bienvenu has been keeping chickens, turkeys and rabbits for a long time. Since the opening of the Epicentre of The Hunger Project (THP) in Zakpota he has been able to expand his business.
“With the loans of THP’s credit bank I can buy more poultry, as well as the necessary feed for them. I already knew quite a bit about poultry farming, but the workshops at the Epicenter in Zakpota added to my knowledge in that department. This way I now know even better what my animals need to stay in good health. In addition, I have learned to read and write, and how to keep the books. So now I can keep track of how my business is going, and owing to my improved insight into the bookkeeping I am in a better position to grow with my business.”
Bienvenu has bought new land, on which he is having built big barns in order to be able to keep more chickens.
“Actually, I am already considering buying even more land, to grow the feed for my poultry on. At the moment I still need a 500.000 CFA loan (£625) each year, particularly for the feed for my poultry. When I can grow the feed myself, that would mean another step forward. I now make a profit of 2.1 million CFA (£2,625) a year. The biggest part of that profit is made during the holidays, when people come to buy chickens and turkeys. The eggs I sell year round. I am not at the market myself, my business really is dependent on mouth-to-mouth advertisement. People come to me to buy my products. I am not yet delivering to restaurants or hotels. I do not have enough poultry for that yet, because it requires being able to guarantee a constant supply. My goal in the end is to expand my business to a level where I can supply the hotel and catering industry. In doing so, I want to make sure that my animals have enough space in the barns, so that they remain healthy and I can keep on delivering a quality product. At the moment I have 5000 birds (3500 chickens, 250 turkeys, 1000 guinea fowls, and 250 ducks) and 100 rabbits. In the future I want to expand to at least 12000 pieces of poultry.”
Setting an example
Bienvenu has already won an award for his poultry, and local politicians have paid a visit to his poultry farm. He hopes that through his business more visitors will be drawn to the region, and possibly, to stimulate more economic activity in this way.
“On my farm I employ two people, and for the new barns I have employed a couple of people on a temporary basis. The knowledge I have gained in the workshops at the Epicentre I am now passing on to others. I let others benefit from my insights in different ways. I have some young people from my village do a work placement at my business, and I teach, so that they can learn the tricks of the trade as well. Besides that, other poultry farmers from all over the country come and visit me to learn from my approach.”
Bienvenu fulfils an exemplary role and clearly is a success story. He thinks big and makes sure that others too profit from his success. With THP as a stepping stone he has come to be of great importance for his community, and therefore is esteemed highly in his village.