By DERRICK SILIMINA
Beatrice Mwenze’s passion for chicken rearing business unfolded with a poultry house to accommodate 550 birds—now she is building another one for 1000.
“I started the poultry business in 2016 as a way of supplementing my husband’s income after I built a (5 x 22m) poultry house with a capacity to accommodate 550 birds,” Mwenze recalls.
Mwenze, 42, a resident of Solwezi’s Kandundu area, states that though sometimes the local market gets flooded, poultry business remains profitable as she takes her chickens to Kasumbalesa border, Zambia’s entry point into the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With the current local market price of K100 and K120 per bird, she sells her chickens and eggs within a week to avoid feeding them further and to maximize on profits.
From her current investment of K24,000 which is comprised of chicks medicines, feed, charcoal and sawdust, is rearing 450 one-week-old chicks.
“This is a lucrative business because sales of 450 birds at K100 each gives me about K45,000. After I deduct expenses, it gives me a 50 per cent profit margin of about K21,000,” she affirms.
The border market is even better with higher prices as her 450 chickens can take about three to four days to sell.
In her quest to enrich her knowledge in poultry business, Mwenze started attending training in January, 2021 at Aaso Lodge, the main venue for Fortune World Investment’s monthly business workshops. And when lessons shifted to radio, on account of the Covid-19 restrictions, she continued following the programmes to date.
“The business training has equipped me with knowledge for better business management, and most topics learned have motivated me create employment for helper who earns K1000 per month,” Mwenze states.
Moving forward, Mwenze plans to increase the number of birds to 1000 and is currently constructing a bigger poultry house at her farm. She also looks forward to a situation where she will begin to supply all her chickens to one source and get paid at once because her record keeping is up to date with details of day-old chicks, stockfeed and sales data.
Additionally, Mwenze is rearing 90 piglets at Weighbridge area and will begin selling them in December when they are fully mature.
With the current local selling price of pork at K90 per kg, Mwenze is encouraged to also look for a market at lodges, hotels and restaurants as a way of increasing her customer base.
Mwenze is hopeful: “In future, I seek to acquire more training in poultry farming, animal husbandry and feed formulation to help boost my agribusiness.”