Omulamba-A young industrious man from Omulamba in Outapi Constituency in Omusati Region has called on unemployed youth to venture into commercial quail farming for egg and meat production.
David Natangwe Iikela, an artisan by profession who has now become a full-time quail farmer, says quails are poultry that are very easy to handle and lucrative to farm.
“It’s very easy to maintain a quail farm, because quails are among the smallest species of poultry. Commercial quail farming in other countries has spread tremendously but in Namibia there is no commercial farming of this bird. I simply mean there’s no competition in this industry at all,” he says.
While many people around the world are involved in commercial quail farming for meat and egg production he advises Namibians to farm for meat because local people, according to his research, are not interested in buying quail eggs.
Iikela started his business towards the end of 2015 with only 24 quail and now he has about 5 000 quail at his farm on the outskirts of Outapi. Apart from farming with quail, he also farms with other poultry, such as chicken of which there are about
2 000, turkey and duck, and produces some rice as well.
“Almost all types of weather conditions are suitable for quail farming. The meat and eggs of quail are very tasty and nutritious. Quail eggs are more nutritious than other poultry eggs,” he argues.
Iikela says that when he did a six-week course on farming in South Africa he met other Africans that are farming with quail and they encouraged him into the business.
“My friends invited me to visit their quail farms in their respective countries and I was very inspired – then I started my own project which is now booming and flourishing,” says Iikela.
He says quail farming requires commitment and dedication and only a small amount of capital and labour. The young farmer adds that quail farming could be a great source of income and employment for the unemployed.
The affordability of the bird motivated him to sell everything he had to acquire an incubator to hatch eggs. He says he had been struggling with finance at the beginning of the business but he sacrificed all his property to get the incubator because financial institutions refused to fund his project.
“But now my quail business sustains itself. I have high demands from customers.”
He wants the incubator to be a national incubator so that it will help people that are interested in farming with quail to hatch eggs. He further says that school principals and teachers that give incubation lessons could bring learners to view the incubator for free.
He started selling roasted quail in the streets of Outapi just to market his business and now the orders are many, which is encouraging, he says. Iikela says he receives orders from all corners of the country and he supplies his customers with uncooked frozen quail as well.
He is willing to give lessons to those interested in venturing into the industry as he wants quail farming to grow nationally.
The girlfriend of Iikela was an administrator in the Ministry of Justice but quit her job to manage the booming business.
Iikela urges Nored to minimise power failures because they affect the hatching process.
He says he started farming with rice in 2015 because he wants to encourage the community that everything in farming is possible.
Last year he harvested about 140 kg of rice that he uses for personal consumption but this year aims to sell it if the harvest is good, he adds. The rice seeds are from Zambia. Iikela employs 20 casual and six permanent employees.