By: Dawda Baldeh
Born and raised by a woman known for poultry farming, Amie Mbowe continues to chase her childhood dream of rearing chicken and become a successful poultry farmer. She advised women to do poultry farming to reduce dependence on men.
She is currently rearing about two hundred and fifty chickens at the backyard of her house in Brikama-Ba, a densely populated village in the Central River Region, which is about 350km from Gambia’s capital, Banjul.
Amie Mbowe spends countless hours each day looking after her chickens as she enjoys spending time with them.
She started the poultry with one hundred (100) chicks and the poultry has grown to two hundred and fifty (250) within few months. It is evident that raising ruminants like chickens takes time, patience, and dedication and Amie is ready for the task.
She wants to change the narratives that every chicken consumed in the country must be imported, noting that she will provide enough chickens and chicken products for the local market at a cheaper price if given the necessary support.
“I love chickens because I grew up knowing only chickens. My mother had a poultry, and I spent my childhood looking after chickens. So, I know a lot about them,” she narrated.
Asked about what inspired her to venture into poultry, she said the purpose is to help provide chickens for the local market and make income to take care of her family.
However, Amie is facing challenges with her poultry which warranted her to seek support, particularly feeding.
“You have to feed the chickens for six months before they start laying eggs. When they lay eggs, I will put them into an incubator so that the eggs can hatch to produce more chicks. The business is good, but I need support to stand firm,” she pleaded.
Getting the proper food for the chickens is a major challenge for her because the feeds that fast-tracks the growth of the chickens are imported and expensive for starters like her.
“I want people to support me so that I can contribute in job creation. Currently, I employ four boys whom I pay monthly. My aim is to create more employment for the youths, but at the moment, I lack the capacity. No amount is small for me,” she pleaded.
Amie said she strongly believes Gambians like her, if given the necessary support, dependency on imported chickens will reduce.
With the experience she had, Amie can detect when the chickens are not happy. She also provides them with medications. “I always buy anti-stress for them because sometimes they will stress if the environment is too noisy,” Amie explained.
The young poultry farmer advised women to start creating means of getting income that will help them solve some of their minor problems without depending too much on other people.
Evidence has shown that there are a lot of benefits that come with raising chickens which include providing eggs, meat, manure, weed and pest control, income generation and reduction of food waste.
Experts believe that keeping chickens is one of the best investments that will bring people more returns in a short time.