Can you tell us about the GOATTI and how it operates?
GOATTI is an application that is digitalising the Nigerian livestock industry by allowing more Nigerians participate in the subsector through their investments. It allows individual earn more money outside their paid employment while creating jobs and providing finance for livestock farmers. The individuals can choose any plan of their choice on our platform to invest by making payments on our payment platform provided by the app.
We realise that there are huge opportunities that are yet to be harnessed in the livestock industry so we believe that digitalising the industry will help the livestock sector realise its full potential. A goat on our platform cost N50,000 and the cost covers payment for the livestock, vaccination, feeding for six month and farm labour. After six months, the goat is sold to our pool of customers who are already on our platform. Investors get 30percent return on every investment on our platform and we currently have over 300 investors. The GOATTI application that can be downloaded via android or IOS and immediately payments are made, a goat is credited to the accounts of our customers. We have made over N7million in less than six months.
Does GOATTI have a farm or is it working with other livestock farmers?
Yes. We have a livestock farm in Abeokuta, Ogun State were we are currently breeding over 300 goats. In the last five years we have been working to build our own market place for our livestock business before we decided to digitalise our platform in 2018. The entire South West, South East and South-South regions depend on the Northern region for the supply of the goats. To supply these regions, we have our own farm and also aggregate from subsistent farmers across the country. All our livestock are insured by the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) against pest and diseases as well as theft.
What is your marketing strategy for the goats on your platform?
We have been able to expand our market beyond our quick service restaurants and we are currently in partnership with the biggest goat market in Lagos, where we have our own stand to sell live goats as well.
Why goat farming and livestock in general considering the issues limiting the industry?
We went into goat farming because it is a profitable business and they are stable animals that require less to manage. The meat is in high demand all year round and the livestock requires a short period of time to reach its full size than cow. It produces twice in a year and number per birth of kidding increases at each birth. In the developed world, the livestock industry is a major foreign exchange earner because it is well developed. I believe that if Nigeria gets things right with developing its livestock subsector based on the ranching model, the industry has the potential to create jobs and drive economic growth. I believe the private sector has to drive the initiative using technology and innovations while the government provides the enabling environment. I believe GOATTI can address some of these issues structurally by driving more investment into the industry.
How do you source for your livestock feeds?
We buy Naiper grass and hay from the northern part of the country. We also source for groundnut mash, cassava peel, yam peel from factories that use these products as raw materials. Currently, to drive down production cost, we have planted our own leguminous plants and Naiper grass on our farm to allow our goats graze on them. We have over 100 hectare of land. We also have a processing facility, were we butcher and process between 60 and 70 goats a week to supply to top restaurants across Lagos.
Nigeria’s leather produce is among the best globally. Is GOATTI currently producing leather from its goat farm?
Most of customers prefer their goat meats to be processed with the skin because of the flavour but we are planning in the nearest future to start producing leather from our goats’ skin to expand our operations.
What are some of the challenges confronting your business?
One of the biggest challenges we faced was our feeding combination. Initially we thought that it was just grass we needed to feed our goats, but they were not growing well until we introduced other leguminous plants. Also, poor infrastructure across the country has impacted our business. We spend a lot transporting Naiper grass from the northern parts of the country to our farm in Ogun state. Similarly, we spend a lot transporting goats from framers we aggregate from to Lagos.
What are some of GOATTI expansion plans?
We plan to build GOATTI to more from retail to wholesale. We plan to divert into cattle farming and milk processing. We want to expand our value chain operations. We want to build the GOATTI ATM that is building a logistic business that transport livestock from the northern parts to the south.
How can the government address the farmers-herders crisis?
Nigeria needs adopt the ranching model to tackle its farmer and herder conflicts as a lasting solution to the decades-long conflicts. While it is important to build ranches, it must be undertaken by individuals since cattle-rearing is a private business.