Visiting Idrissou Bah, poultry farmer in Bétérou

Idrissou Bah Moussé is 23 years old, and an agronomist. He studied at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Parakou, majoring in sciences and production techniques in livestock and fisheries breeding. He was one of the students who received a scholarship in 2017 through the Summer School, the project funded by Materialise. His entrepreneurship training there served him well when he completed his university education in 2020. Indeed, just one year later, he started up a small poultry farm in Bétérou in the municipality of Tchaourou.

Idrissou Bah - pluimveehouder in Bétérou

Why did you start your own business so soon?

The entrepreneurship training I received during Summer School, and my degree in agronomy prompted me to start an entrepreneurial activity after only one year, specifically in poultry farming. My plan had long been to become self-employed after completing my education. First, I gained experience on a farm where cattle, chickens, goats, sheep, and other animals were kept. At the end of my 10-month contract at that farm, I decided to set up my poultry farm in the village of Bétérou.

Idrissou Bah - pluimveehouder in Bétérou

And why in Bétérou?

Because Bétérou is very close to my heart: it is “my” village. Moreover, chicken eggs are in great demand in Bétérou. Immediately after the hens lay, I sell and deliver the eggs. I know all the places in my village where eggs are sold and distributed. And if I wanted to increase my poultry farm, I could quickly get additional land. The demand for eggs is so high that I cannot meet even a quarter of the villagers’ total needs. With my 150 laying hens, I sell an average of 31 palettes of eggs per week.

Do you make enough profit from sales? And what do you do with that income?

Yes, of course. I make a profit on what I sell. With the profit, I buy raw materials, feed, and veterinary drugs to maintain the number of animals. I also use the profit to purchase young bulls. These are young cattle that I raise to sell later. In addition, I gradually expand my poultry business with my income.

What difficulties are you experiencing?

Lately, one of the biggest problems has been finding raw materials. With the increase in taxes on raw materials, fewer are being imported. And especially then cottonseed and cotton cake, palm kernel cake, wheat bran, and fishmeal. We cannot produce these raw materials locally ourselves, and there is often a shortage of them. As a result, I can’t always formulate the feed for the laying hens as they are used to. The result is that fewer eggs are laid.

What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

I plan to become one of the largest producers of eggs in Benin by 2025. I want to start small poultry farms in Djougou, Parakou, and Natitingou in the other municipalities in northern Benin.