At 30, Boubacar Fomba is today one of the most successful young poultry farmers in Kayes, a city located in 495 kilometers northwest of Mali’s capital, Bamako. For Boubacar, it all started with fifteen thousand FCFA (USD 27) when he was in college.
“When I was in college, my parents sent fifteen thousand FCFA every month as allowance. This amount was supposed to cover food, clothes, transportation, etc. As you can imagine, it wasn’t enough. So, one day, I took the money to buy seven chicks. From this investment, I earned up to about 37.000 FCFA (67 USD). This is how it started.” says Boubacar.
Convinced that that was an excellent business opportunity, young Fomba decided to invest in it. He used the profit from the seven chicks, added whatever he earned from odd cleaning jobs and the intermittent scholarship money, and put it all in his budding aviculture endeavor.
He managed to build his business and study at the same time, even graduating with honors.
Thanks to the Nurturing Enterprising Youth in Agricultural Technologies (NEYAT), a program led by CORAF, Boubacar was able to build a solid financial business plan and learn a great deal about the business. It also made him expand and diversify his activities.
“Thanks to the program, I built a network that spans the whole region. I learned to manage my business better, using new technologies and tools.”
Today, Boubacar provides chicken to hotels, restaurants, and retails all over Kayes and even beyond. He opened his restaurant not long ago and several points of sale.
“In 2018, we made 38 million FCFA (69,000 USD) in profit. We hope to do better in 2019. We want to expand and become a big brand, something like KFC or even bigger,” says Boubacar.
Thanks to his business, he got married and now employs many people. Today Boubacar feels financially secured. He resigned from the jobs to focus on his farm.
“I make a living by working hard. I feel I am contributing to the growth of the economy of my country. I feel proud when I visit a hotel and see customers consuming chicken from my farm,” says Boubacar.
The NEYAT program, funded by the Islamic Development Bank, was designed to fight unemployment by building the capacities of youth and help them develop their businesses, primarily agricultural.