The year 2017, is basically gone. It has been a 5 year journey in agriculture starting with our first bath of day-old layer chicks on January 3, 2013. Having walked this journey half a decade, this is a chance to look back on the road passed see what lies head
- Paid off capital investment debt, so now all operations are self funded
- Layer production processes strengthened with current flock beating all metrics: time to lay – 17.5 weeks (1 week early), productivity (87%)
- Strengthened logistics support system which is the foundation of our business model – feed production is a completly outsourced service
- Supported the development of a Poultry Farm Calculator developed by Styx Technology Group
- Management processes are key to production all the way from human resource management, records keeping,
- Revenue projections on paper never reflect on the ground reality
- Data is king – we collect, analyse and review operations data on a regular basis, to drive decision making. We have had instances where our thoughts are in one direction, but the data tells a different story. Numbers never lie
- Information is power – over time we have learnt to read detailed documentation, experiences from around the world, and scientific papers to get grounding in the business we are in
- Make business model decisions and stay firm until they are validated – unlike traditional knowledge and advice, we made a strategic to outsource feed mixing as we were ill equipped, did not have the knowledge, and time but invested time in building a strong relationship with our feed supplier. This paid off as we can focus on core skills – production process improvements and increasing sales revenue
- Capital investment has to be strategic – the dream of many poultry farmers is to have high levels of automation such cages, automated drinkers which reduce human intervention, but require 100% more capital.
- Human resource management – this is a make or break area within any enterprise. We use semi-skilled labor, leveraging modern HR management practices for performance management, loyalty building to retain staff.
- Process, process, process – this is the foundation of decision making, and we keep the decisions to a minimum and explain why. Once this is well understood we have only had to tweak and never change a process.
- Expansion into fish farming which as expected was a huge learning curve with inadequate local knowledge, so have to grow own knowledge
- Building a double storied structure – this was a consequence of having limited space with no options for expansion, however the capital would have been best invested in expansion elsewhere.
- Formalize the paper based processed into clear documentation to help other farmers grow and develop
- Leverage partnership with Styx Technology Group to develop an end-to-end Poultry Management System for layers with analytics and business-level metrics
- Expand the farm operations to 10k birds which will provide economies of scale that drive profitability
- Expand into local indeginous chicken breeds with a different business model that suits them
- Vertical integration of dairy, lusuku and indeginous poultry on a single operation location