Vet student’s poultry farm pays her university fees and provides jobs

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(ERGO) – Najmo Abdullahi Qanso, a final year veterinary student at Benadir university in Mogadishu, took the bold step of setting up her own poultry farm earlier this year on the outskirts of the Somali capital’s Deynile district.

After researching the pros and cons of the business, she now owns a small commercial farm with 1,500 egg-laying hens that she imported from Morocco and Kenya, aided by Somali businessmen in Kenya.

“My aim was to produce more eggs. Our domestic chickens don’t produce that many so I decided to import them. Our country is hot, so we went for a type of chicken that can survive in any climate conditions,” she said.

Najmo invested $3,000 given by relatives to buy and transport the hens by sea to her incubation farm. The hens produce 1,300 eggs a day, which she sells to customers in Deynile, making $150-$200 profit each day.

She has provided employment to nine other students or recent graduates. Among them is Rukia Abdulkadir Bono, also in her final year of veterinary studies at Banadir university, who works with three others monitoring the chicken feed and the health of the poultry.

“The main challenge we face is that we have to leave the city as the chickens do better in the countryside. In hot weather conditions, the chickens are at risk of coccidiosis disease so you have to be careful and vaccinate beforehand,” she said. They change the soil on the farm twice a week to avoid build-up of viruses.

“Chickens are naturally ready to lay eggs, all they need is 16-17 hours of light. We use daylight during the day and electricity at night,” she explained.

Rukia earns $300 a month that enables her to support her family and pay her own university fees.

Abdulkadir Adan Yalahow, a business administration graduate, heads the marketing team. He graduated from Banadir university in August 2019 and was jobless until this opportunity came along.  He said they supply eggs to 20 hotels as well as egg vendors in parts of Mogadishu. His $250 a month salary gave him a new lease of life.

“You can feel the pain of being the only university graduate in your family and not having have a job to support them,” he said. “This job has changed a lot about my life.”

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