For many years Bienvenu and his wife Justine have been farming chickens, turkeys and rabbits. After attending workshops at Zakpota Epicentre in Benin, they learned how to expand their business. They have applied for credit from the bank and have since purchased more poultry and the necessary food to provide for their livestock.
“I already knew everything about poultry farming,’ says Bienvenu, ‘but my workshops in the Epicentre in Zakpota increased my knowledge in that area. So now, I know even better what my chickens and other animals need to stay healthy. I also learned to read, write and do my own book-keeping. I know what my company is about and through my improved understanding of accounting, I am better able to grow with it.”
Bienvenu has bought a larger farm and he has built barns to keep more chickens. He has two permanent employees and hires casual staff when he needs help with the construction of his barns. He is already thinking about expanding further, so he can save money by growing food for his livestock himself.
“I need 500,000 cfa (approx. $1,175AUD) of credit per year, especially for the feed of my poultry. If I can grow that food myself, I’m one step further. I now earn net 2.1 million cfa (approx. $4,940 AUD) per year. I make the most of my profits during the holidays when people come to buy chickens and turkeys. I sell the eggs throughout the year… It is my goal to eventually become so big that I can deliver to catering. “
I make sure my animals have enough space in the barns, so that they stay healthy and I can continue to deliver quality. I now have 5,000 birds (including 3,500 chickens, 250 turkeys, 1,000 guinea fowl, 250 ducks and 100 rabbits. In the future, I want to grow to at least 12,000 poultry. “ Bienvenu’s extraordinary vision and business skills have earned him awards and visits from local politicians. He hopes to attract more visitors to the region through his work, and thus stimulate more economic activities.
People in his community are inspired by his abilities and subsequent success. He is a big thinker who likes to share the knowledge and skills he learned with other farmers in his village. He employs young people on internships and is happy that others are benefitting from his success.