By Kebba Jeffang
After realizing that her annual earnings from professional teaching is D34, 000 while chicken rearing earns her D64, 000 in 45 days, Rohey M. Bah of 26 years, quit teaching from Secondary School. She said her passion for poultry farming overrides teaching; that this is among her reasons for quitting her job.
Rohey is a graduate with a Higher Teachers’ Certificate from the Gambia’s only college, in Brikama. She is now admitted at the University of The Gambia, pursuing a B.A in Development Studies.
“I was a teacher but not anymore. I quit purposely for what I truly have passion for. Let me say I was doing teaching because I wanted to be employed and earn something at the end of the day. But realizing that I have true passion for poultry, made me to quit and come into something that I love to do and at the end of the day, realize the benefits attached to it,” she told Foroyaa in an exclusive interview.
The mother of three said her successes are many already as a result of the shift. She said there are a lot of successes attached to poultry business.
“With that of teaching, let me say my annual income was thirty-four thousand Dalasi. With poultry, I am able to make sixty-four thousand in 45 days, as profit. I have been doing this for the past two years before it was legally registered. So far I know that I have gathered something,” she happily said.
Rohey said she has used some of her income to buy a piece of land in Brikama Kabifita as an extension to expand her project.
“I want to extend the business to 500 or even up to 1000 chicken layers for now. I usually have broilers but now I want to expand to have layers too. I normally have about 600 broiler birds and I want to extend it to any quantity, if I have the assistance,” she said.
Rohey said she started the business with a sum of D4, 000 to buy chicks with some support from her brother and husband.
With this success, she said she has no intention of going back to the teaching profession.
“I was teaching at a Senior Secondary School and I am now doing my B.A in Development Studies at the University of The Gambia. Upon Completion, I am coming back to the farm. Let me not say I regretted reading Development Studies but I think I will minor Environmental Sciences or any agricultural course to be stronger in my farm work,” she said.
She commended her husband for being very supportive to her initiative.
“Let me say without him I would not have reached this level. He has been encouraging me a lot. To see your wife quit a professional job, some men could see this as something big but he saw the vision and progress that can be realised. He did not care about D3, 000 or D4000 I will be coming home with every month as a teacher but the millions that one can earn from such a business. He is truly supportive. I have 3 kids who are going to school and I help my husband willingly,” Bah expressed proudly.
She said she has been trained by EMPRETEC three weeks ago but is yet to partner with National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI). She said she hopes to build more connections with many people in the business.
Rohey said she is expecting some funding from Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
‘‘Let me say every day I keep on searching for more people and connections because this work involved connecting with people in the business. If possible I want to be connected with every poultry farmer in the country,” she said.