Just one year after he was taught the basics about poultry management by a friend, Kersor Jones a local poultry farmer in Peter Town, Mount Barclay, foresees wealth wealth potential amidst challenges in the sector.
“The beginning of last year, a Ghanaian friend of mine taught me little management skills about poultry farming but the training came after I visited his project site and saw hundreds of eggs he was preparing for the market; I told him I was impressed by what I saw and I want to undertake the same project,” said Jones.
Jones, who started last year with 100 chicks, experienced an encouraging first sale that resulted to the up-scaling of his facility.
Jones has added two poultry houses to his startup kitchen to raise his chicks. His two poultry houses, which have three compartments, host 270 broiler, layers and chicks on an average.
In spite of his growing fame in his community, Jones suffers challenges that have stagnated the progress of local poultry farmers in the country.
It can be recalled that during the weeks of egg shortage on the Liberian market recently, key players in the country’s poultry sector flagged the Liberian government’s preference of egg importers over local producers. Additionally, high prices of imported feed, among others, have narrowed their chances to compete with big time importers.
“They [importers] bring in containers and containers of imported things and flood the market. For that reason, they won’t take from the local producers; so everybody closes down. We are here to make profit and this has collapsed the poultry sector of Liberia. We are not producing anymore because we [local poultry farmers] cannot sell,” said Mai Urey of Wulki Farms, one of Liberia’s leading egg producers, said earlier.
Amidst issues flagged by his colleagues, Jones has taken destiny into his hands by producing feed made from local materials for his birds, despite it not having been scientifically tested and approved yet.
Jones mixes wheat bran along with bonny fish peels, corn and peanuts, ground to provide feed for his birds. Though his feed has not been tested to know the amount and kind of nutrient it supplies, Jones disclosed that his birds’ reaction to the feed are yielding positive results.
“In the absence of imported feed which is really expensive, I used wheat bran, corn, peanut and bonny dirt. I grind them and later mix them with the wheat bran. I have been trying this method for one year now and my chickens are in good shape,” said Jones.
Like other striving local poultry farmers, Jones’ effort to improvise feed, drinkers among others, reveals his optimism and strength to revamp the sector. But the fight to save the future of the sector depends on government response to issues local poultry farmers have flagged.
It can be recalled that last month after their first meeting that followed the acquaintance meeting with Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh, poultry farmers called on government to provide subsidies, improved facilities and work on modalities that will enhance favorable conditions for local poultry farmers.