The Bates Chicken Banda is getting a second life as the OMM family purchases the banda from its original owners. The banda was built by Parmiters students in 2014 and operated by a group of four men. Th OMM family purchased the banda and moved to his farm where he will try to learn from past experience and operate a sustainable business.
The original group of four operated the banda as an egg-laying business for about two years before they encountered their first major challenge. Floods washed out road access to Utete and prevented their biggest customers from purchasing eggs. The group had more eggs than they could sell and after a few months ran out of working capital to keep the project going. They did learn valuable lessons from this experience:
- Selling meat is a lower risk business than selling eggs because chickens won’t rot when the market is bad.
- Selling meat reduces business complexity by creating a natural cycle where older chickens are sold, preventing chickens from becoming old and unproductive
- Local breeds of chickens are heartier and can “lean” periods by foraging if needed
The father of the OMM family is starting a new farm outside of Kindwitwi. He plans to move his home and all of his livestock there and the new chicken banda is the first step. He purchased the banda using a loan from Better Lives. He will raise local-breed chickens and sell them for meat. Local breeds fetch a better price in the markets because while they don’t have as much meat, the meat is thought to taste better and be more nutritious. The OMM family also added a solar electricity system to the banda for security. They system is robust enough to serve their home when they move it to the farm.
The OMM family is starting with 48 chickens and 4 roosters. However, they plan to quickly grow their flock to as many as 400 birds. They will use the money they earn to pay for their daughter Acheni’s university school fees.