Onifide Ifedayo: Tapping opportunities in livestock production
Many young Nigerians are abandoning agriculture for white-collar jobs.
But Onifide Ifedayo, founder of GOATTI, Nigeria is one of the few youths tapping opportunities in the livestock industry, proving to young Nigerians that agriculture is still a gold mine.
Ifedayo was inspired to establish GOATTI in 2018 after identifying an opportunity in livestock production.
“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 fulfill its full potential,” he says.
“We went into goat farming because it is a profitable business and they are stable animals that require less to manage,” he explains.
“The meat is in high demand all year round and the livestock requires a short period to reach its full size than a cow. It produces twice in a year and the number per birth of kidding increases at each birth,” he added.
He says that in the developed world, the livestock industry is a major foreign exchange earner owing to its rapid development, saying the country can also grow its industry by developing the subsector based on a ranching model.
He states that the livestock industry in the country has the potential to create millions of jobs while driving economic growth and development if given the right support by the government.
The young entrepreneur urges the private sector to lead in transforming the country’s livestock industry using technology and innovative solutions while the government provides the enabling environment.
“Also, I believe GOATTI can address some of these issues structurally by driving more investment into the industry,” Ifedayo further says.
GOATTI’s livestock farm is located in Abeokuta with over 300 goats as well as aggregating from farmers to meet its demand.
“We have a livestock farm in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where we are currently breeding over 300 goats.”
“In the last five years, we have been working to build our 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,” the young entrepreneur says.
“To supply these regions, we have our farm and also aggregate from subsistent farmers across the country. All our livestock products are insured by the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) against pest and diseases as well as theft,” the agriprenuer explains.
He says his business sources feeds locally and has planted its own leguminous and Naiper grass on about 100 hectares of land to feed its goat.
“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,” he says.
Ifedayo notes that the business plans to have a processing facility in the short run to process between 60 and 70 goats weekly to supply top restaurants across Lagos.
In the long-run, the business plans to move from retail to wholesale and also diversify to cattle farming and milk production as well as a logistic business for livestock,he discloses.
Speaking on the major hurdle for the business, the young entrepreneur says that high logistics cost remains the major challenge facing the business.
He advises the government to adopt the ranching model to tackle its farmer- herder conflicts as a lasting solution to the decades-long conflicts.