Rasak Ogunaike: Successful People's Poultry Farmer-of-the-Month - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Rasak Ogunaike: Successful People's Poultry Farmer-of-the-Month

 Rasak Ogunaike: Successful People's Poultry Farmer-of-the-Month

..Says, "I used bird flu crisis to expand my poultry business "

Starting with a backyard poultry farming in Sagamu, Ogun State, after graduation from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, this man, out of strong determination, diligence and God's grace, built a poultry business that has led to his traveling to some African and European countries.

Like an eagle who uses storms to soar higher, when there was Bird Flu outbreak, causing death of hundreds of thousands of poultry birds in Nigeria and forcing many poultry farmers to quit the business, he looked for opportunities in the crisis.
As many poultry farmers were hurriedly selling their birds and cages at cheaper prices to avoid total loss, he grabbed the opportunity, sought for solutions and began to buy the birds and cages from those who were folding up.
Consequently, this led to the expansion of his poultry business and a great turnaround for him.
Welcome To The Poultry World of Rasak Ogunaike 
Mr Rasak Olasesan Ogunaike, Chairman/CEO of RSK Farms (a Division of Olaayo Ventures),is an agricultural scientist, a Poultry Farm Administrator and an Agribusiness entrepreneur, whose success story is good enough to learn from.
His narrative is an anecdote of vision, focus, diligence, perseverance, self discipline, humility, prudent management and opportunities grabbing.
Birth & Educational Background
Born on June 6, 1973 in Sagamu, to the Ogunaike family of Sagamu, RSK, as fondly attended St Paul School, Makun (2) and Sagamu High School, Makun, both in Sagamu, Ogun State, for his basic and secondary education.
He later studied Agricultural Science at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he bagged B.Sc.in Agric in 2003.
Adventure Into Poultry Business 
While he was in final year at the OAU, he had developed interest in poultry, out of various other areas of specialization available in agriculture.
At the completion of his NYSC program in Benue State in 2004, he used the monthly allowances he saved during the service year to venture into the poultry business.
He was able to save the allowances because he took a part-time teaching job, in form of coaching classes. This he did after closing from work at the local government secretariat where he was posted to for his primary assignment.
With the money, he started the poultry business by rearing 200birds at a backyard, of the house where he was living in Sagamu.
One major challenge he faced, was difficulty in raising funds . Banks won't give loans because they saw poultry as being highly risky. Since he couldn't get loan from bank, he had to learn how to raise capital outside bank.
Getting land for expansion was another challenge he faced. To get a place to dump the increasing dungs was a challenge, when he was at Ewu Oliwo.
The place which was a village had began to develop fast into town with many residential buildings springing up, leading to complaints from residents over constant air pollution from the poultry dungs.; especially when the birds increased to 500.

This led him to get two acres of land at Iwelepe, where his farm is located now.

 "Feed is the major issue in poultry because it takes about 70% of our capital. Today they will say there's no maize and so increase the prices of livestock feeds, tomorrow there's no Soya beans and they will increase the price of poultry feeds.

"These have been major issues because those who produce the feeds won't get enough resources like maize, soya beans, sorghum, e.t.c. to produce. So they would have to import them to be able to meet the demands." He explained.

He made it clear that the competition in the demand for the poultry feeds by poultry farmers often make producers of those feeds to increase the price at will. "So these make feeds take large part of the profits we ought to make." He added.

Opportunities Seizure

On what led to his breakthrough, RSK said, "my courage to take  advantage of the bird flu crisis actually led to my breakthrough in this business. Many poultry farmers were afraid and many were selling their birds because of the way the viruses were killing birds.

Until the bird flu outbreak, day-old-chick was sold between N90 and N120. But with the bird flu crisis the chick was sold N40. So, I took that advantage to increase my poultry business capacity from 500 to 1000 birds.

Then, I didn't have the capacity and facilities to accommodate that 1000 birds, but I summoned enough courage to take them. Then, that was when Dr Jayesimi came in to help me import cages. That was how I got stabilized and got the breakthrough.

Passion! Passion!! Passion

Has he ever thought of quitting the job? "Once. And that was when a friend came to me in 2005 while I was living in Ewu Oliwo. My birds were around 500.

"He asked me if the profits I was making from the 500 birds were enough to feed me and sustain my family. He had come to tell me of job opportunity for me at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture." RSK said.

He rejected the job opportunity and told the friend the little profits could sustain him and his family. But after the friend left he began reminiscing on the business experiences and realized the 500birds couldn't sustain him and his family.

    "He asked me if the profits I was making from the 500 birds were enough to feed me and sustain my family. He had come to tell me of job opportunity for me at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture." RSK said

However, he couldn't stop doing the poultry farming because of his passion for it. He resolved to make it in life through it.

Training & Retraining
While his agricultural education at the university helped him to start well, though from zero level, RSK disclosed that constant training and retraining are what help him to keep improving and succeeding.

"I have attended a lot of seminars and workshops in Nigeria and outside the country. I've been to Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana. I have even travelled to Turkey in Europe to attend attend various training programs which have helped me. As I returned home from such self sponsored training program I quickly applied all I have learned.

"I have spent some millions of Naira on those trips, to get trained; to know the latest trend in the agribusiness and update my knowledge of the industry.

"I have spent millions of Naira on career development. You talk of PANOG (Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State) annual seminars and workshops. Top Feeds seminars, Animal Care seminars, and several others.

  "I have spent some millions of Naira on those trips, to get trained; to know the latest trend in the agribusiness and update my knowledge of the industry.

"More importantly, I have also attended the training of the Institute of Agribusiness Management, Nigeria(IAMN), and have been inducted as a member".
I travel to Ghana to attend an annual conference every year. Since 2018 I have been traveling to Europe thrice every year.

Impacts of Nigeria's Boarders Closure

The closure of our international boarders have really helped us a lot. For instance, the cost of producing egg in South Africa is far cheaper than in Nigeria. So some people were taking advantage of that to import eggs into Nigeria.
With the closure of the boarders, the problem has reduced drastically.

Until the closure many poultry farmers used to burry their eggs in large quantities whenever imported eggs flood the markets and local poultry farmers couldn't sell theirs on time, and the eggs spoiled within the period. To avoid bad air pollution from the smell, the farmers would dig grounds and bury such eggs.

Of course, this is a huge loss for such farmers.This is because as you're burying the eggs, it's your financial capital you're burying. But the boarders closure has helped in curbing that now.

Benefits & Success Story

The benefits I derive from all these self sponsored training and retraining here and there include sound knowledge of Biosecurity. This Biosecurity is the major factor in poultry business. If you can take care of Biosecurity you will spend little on drugs.

Feed Management is another major thing I learnt a lot on, as I attend several seminars, conferences and workshops. Proper knowledge of feed management helps poultry business become more profitable.

Fund Raising is another crucial thing I learned about. Knowing how to raise funds without approaching banks, have helped me.
He was able to experience breakthrough, build his own house, bought needed vehicles and continue with the business.

 Successful People's Poultry Farmer-of-the-Month

       For December 2019 {Dec 30, 2019-Jan 29, 2020}

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