A Christian Business Model to Aid Nigerian Farmers

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Group of People Waving the Flag of Nigeria

Nigeria is a beautiful country, carved out from over 350 different tribes before the departure of the British colonial masters in 1960. With a population of over 170 million representing well over 500 spoken languages and English as the lingua franca, the country is fairly divided into the mainly Muslim North and the Christian South, with the average Nigerian being more loyal to his/her tribe and religion than to the Nation. This divided loyalty breeds religious violence and aids corruption—with those living in the rural areas (who live on less than a dollar a day) bearing the brunt of the political class’s greed.

Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) was established in Nigeria in 1975, as the first fully indigenous non-denominational mission agency established to plant indigenous, cross-cultural churches among Muslim tribes in the North of Nigeria. CAPRO over the years has planted and handed over churches in some previously unreached tribes in Nigeria and has through the Mercy Ministries Department set up schools and clinics as part of its social responsibility among some of these groups.

We (my wife, Chi and I) have worked as missionaries in CAPRO for over two decades and have been involved in church planting, discipleship and resource mobilization in and outside Nigeria. During the course of our work we observed a particular need among the rural populace of Northern Nigeria and we aim to address this need.

Our Project: Improving rural livelihoods through control of decimating diseases in local chickens, sheep and goats in rural communities of Northern Nigeria.

Most rural dwellers in Northern Nigeria are subsistence farmers and their livelihood depends on livestock to a large degree. They do not have access to veterinary services and vaccines due to their remote locations to the major towns, with distances sometimes exceeding 100 miles on non motorable roads. They also do not have modern amenities, like electricity and pipe borne water, and are completely neglected by the Government.

Problem Being Solved

Every year some rural communities in Northern Nigeria loose about 80% of their chickens to Newcastle disease and the dreaded Bovine Rinderpest in goats and sheep. The financial loss every year is enormous and the poverty cycle repeats itself with children being affected the most. They often have stunted growth and die easily from preventable and treatable diseases.

Course of Action Taken So Far

Over the course of the last two years, about 40 indigenous rural vaccinators have been trained. CAPRO buys and sells quality vaccines and accessories to these indigenes who go round the villages to vaccinate the livestock. The price sold to the vaccinators covers the cost of the vaccine as well as all other expenses incurred with some margin added for profit.

The current vaccination efforts have reduced mortality among local livestock leading to an improvement in income and general lifestyle. However, lack of finance to keep the program ongoing has been a limiting factor.

Business Opportunity

A total amount of =N=1,144,000 (5,720 US dollars) is needed to scale up the project at the rate of 1 dollar to 200 Nigeria Naira:

Description Unit Price (=N=) No of Units Cost-(=N=)
10,000 vials of NDVI-2 vaccines for local Chickens 50 10,000 500,000
1,000 Vials of PPR vaccines for Goats and Sheep 350 1,000 350,000
Transport cost from Veterinary Institute Laboratory to Office 5,000 6 30,000
Transport costs of vaccines to 10 communities 5,000 10 15,000
Eye dropper dispenser 150 200 30,000
Refrigerators for vaccine storage 107 2 214,000
Cool boxes 2,000 10 20,000
TOTAL 1,144,000

A profit of N650,000 (3,550 US dollars) is expected in the first year. With a 20% depreciation value on two refrigerators (42,800) that amounts to a net profit of N607, 000 (3,035US dollars).

The chickens are vaccinated at the rate of N5, which translates to N250 per vial. Hence a vaccinator makes a profit of N125 per vial. He vaccinates each goat or sheep for N20, which translates to N1000 per vial—making an estimated profit of N500 per vial. The chicken vaccination is done three or four times a year whereas the goats and sheep are vaccinated once a year. Each vaccinator could vaccinate up to 10,000 chickens in a year.

Social Impact/Kingdom Contribution

The improvement in livestock will result in improved income and nutrition (more protein is available for the growing children with more meat and eggs) leading to improved well-being. Moreover, due to improved income families are able to send their children to schools, pay medical bills as well as meet other social obligations thereby reducing social disharmony in families.

Also, most of the vaccinators are Christians and they bring this service in conjunction with the gospel, serving as an avenue to demonstrate God’s love to their communities.

We plan to extend the project to more communities in the next two years as well as empower three vaccinators to own solar-powered vaccine storage facilities in their villages.

To find out more, Dami can be contacted at damiadeliyi@gmail.com. His personal blog is www.boyofgod.com; and the CAPRO ministry website is found at www.capromissions.org.

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