Few metres away from the dusty grounds of the General Hospital, Uke in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, lay Hausawa Farm, a venture stocked with different breeds of exotic animals – cows, goats and sheep.
The farm has been attracting the attention of prospective farmers. The brain behind the farm is Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, Sarkin Hausawa, Uke.
The young farmer is 28, full of energy; he spends quality time getting his hands dirty every day by joining his farmworkers to take care of his livestock. His story tells the journey so far.
How it all started
When he was 5 to 7 years old he got a chicken from a woman to raise it. The chicken grew to about 50 which he shared with her owner. That success attracted another woman who gave him a goat. “I grew that one goat to about 30 goats,” he recalled.
“At that time, I don’t even know what to do with money. My parents will sell my share and buy the things that I needed especially during the eid Sallah.
“At that moment I began to realise that I will do well in livestock breeding because whatever animal kept did very well. That is how the journey started,” he revealed.
“One day, I asked myself, since I have little knowledge of rearing animals and they are doing great, with my keen interest in raising them, why didn’t I continue with it and possibly employ other youths to be busy?” that was what encouraged me to take up animal rearing,” he stated.
Today, Alhaji Abdullahi has in stock a few local breeds, the rest are breeds from abroad that he crosses through artificial insemination.
“We buy semen, which we insert into local breeds. It depends on what we want. If I want a bull or female calf, we will get it once it gives birth, and we begin to train it with our local feeds.
“Secondly when we cross American Brahman cows with our female local cows, it gives us even bigger cows than if we cross 100 per cent Brahman-Brahman. For example if Brahma-Brahma will give you 100 per cent, the Brahma-local will give you 85 per cent. However, the product of that 85 per cent will be bigger in size and weigh more than the 100 per cent Brahma,” he said.
Most of the cows, except four, are not pregnant and even the various species of exotic goats and sheep on the farm, he said, are crossed, not directly imported. The farmer has about 65 people working for him in the various animal breeding sections, he said, adding that they get feeds for the birds and animals from the farm.
What’s on the farm?
The farm has over 150 cows, striking goats, sheep, ducks, geese and chickens, but the cows are the dominant feature. Even at the time of the visit, new calves were born. The animals from Brazil, America and Afghanistan were completely domesticated. One of the bulls, which appears to weigh many tonnes, is now been used for both crossing and farm tourism. Ready to offer help, share knowledge
Do you want any of the breeds?
The young livestock farmer said he is ready to offer help and share knowledge of how to grow them.
According to him, he has learned much from the experience of loss (worth about two million) that he suffered at the time he lacked basic knowledge of keeping such breeds of animals. Today, he has mastered the act and is willing to share the knowledge. You can also buy from him, he said.
Alhaji Abdullahi is also introducing some touch of tourism into his business; he takes his bulls and exotic animals to places where people can pay a token to see them. The birds, the long-ear goats, three-legged bull, and others attract a lot of attention from passers-by. He told this reporter that he will showcase his farm animals at Millennium Park for the yuletide festivities.
His advice to youths
Let me tell you, youths need to look for knowledge. Go to places to see what others are doing and how you can learn and domesticate it where you live. It baffled me to see young people putting together $3000 which is more than a million naira to journey across Libya when in fact that is good enough to invest in something and get rich here.
“I travelled to Kano and there was a house I visited. It is not such a big house but what I saw in there was worth about N50 million – there were turkeys, cows, goats, you name them. You need to see who owned them, a simple, common fellow. “For me, were I to get one billion naira today, I will put it all into livestock,” he added.