One of the ideas of Prince Ike Okorafor, a foremost contender for the Arochukwu State Constituency, Abia State has the conviction that political office holders should not be only career politicians, but must make effort at creating jobs to cushion the pressure and demand of representation within a limited resource available to deliver quality leadership to the people.
To achieve reliance through agriculture as a means to augment limited resources, Prince Ike Okorafor had long established a Pig Farm as a pioneer farming practice to test the effect of adding other lucrative farm businesses to form a nucleus to cushion the high rate of unemployment.
In this interview with OHAFIA TV News, Prince Ike Okorafor explains his vision and belief that creating employment is the first step to offering people-oriented leadership.
Can you briefly tell us about Evolette Farms?
Evolette farm is majorly a piggery farm located in Abam along Ndi Ememe/Arochukwu Road in Arochukwu LGA of Abia State. The farm came into being due to the need to encourage and provide jobs for the young people who live within the rural area and also to fill the gap on the increasing demand for pork within the geographical area.
We breed pigs for meat production as well as for other new entrants into the pig business who may want to buy breeder pigs to start their farm. We also offer training and consultancy services. Evolette farm is a distributor of the grand cereals limited piggito feeds in Abia State.
Our primary aim is to ensure evidence-based livestock farming and also food security to the farm.
We have qualified staff who are knowledgeable in animal science technology among others. We believe in quality service delivery. The bottom line is to provide jobs through agriculture to take the youths off the street. The effort has yielded positive results.
What motivated you to venture into the piggery business?
Like I stated earlier, the desire to encourage and empower our young graduates who are looking for a non-existent White collar job is one key motivation that compelled me into the piggery business. A good number of our graduates fight for no help, rather than fighting to help themselves. Piggery business is one way they can help themselves to become self-reliant and economically viable.
To what extent would you wish to advance the business?
Presently, we have moved from pig meat production to distributors of pig feeds and we are hoping to look into meat processing, packaging and supplies to the noble names in the food industry. It is a continuous process and our steps will be guided by the realities of demand and supply. But we expect to stretch as far as we can because the more we expand, the more we can offer succour to our teeming youths in our present no-job-after-school reality.
What safety measures have you put in place to avoid possible outbreaks of diseases?
A lot of preventive measures are being taken to make sure diseases are not encountered on the farm. Prevention is cheaper than cure.
- We use disease preventive drugs.
- We wash our pens and the drainage system with disinfectants which we rinse with enough water thereafter.
*We practise standard hygiene from the staff, water system, feeding methods, routine observation and isolation of any suspected sick pig for proper medical attention.
More so, we have a small clinic on the farm where basic drugs are stored for prompt response to any ailing pig.
Who are your manpower ?
The owner of the farm is an expert in public health and that explains the choice of the location for the business and most importantly inform our drainage system to forestall any possible public health threat both to animal and human. Again, the manager of the farm is a graduate of animal science technology with extensive knowledge and experience in pig breeding. We also have a nutritionist and other workers on the farm. We follow evidence-based best practices in livestock farming.
What measures have you put in place to curtail any possible challenges that may hinder the business?
Some major challenges associated with pig breeding is their feeding, adequate space, access to clean water amongst others.
To manage this, we also distribute pig feeds, our farm is situated in 10 plots of land properly fenced and we have a commercial borehole that guarantees access to clean water among other technicalities which include control on the part of the management.
Are you planning to venture into other farm businesses?
Yes. We have also acquired 20 plots of land for phase two of the Evolette Farm even as efforts to start producing the pigs feed in Abam is at 75% completion. These additional projects when completed can give more than 200 youths of Arochukwu LGA employment and other aspects that can productively engage more young people.
It’s a question of time, we are taking them step by step.