The poultry marketing initiative (PMI) model was born out of the belief that socially excluded women can successfully compete in commerce. In Nigeria, a significant number of women produce poultry, and PMI is the logical next step for them to put their knowledge and skills to work. The PMI model builds on women's production successes and provides fresh, locally produced poultry at lower prices.
The primary goal of PMI is to bring about increased self-employment and income for participants involved in poultry production. Women for Women International envisions PMI as a phased program, in which women move from producers to processors, managers and ultimately, to owners who actively compete in the Nigerian poultry value chain. The initiative focuses on using a strategic agribusiness model that will be applied to support the efforts of Women for Women International-Nigeria in Enugu and help train women who are primarily family farmers (subsistence farmers) gain the skills that will further their ability to engage, function independently and profit from the agricultural market by becoming small- to medium-scale poultry producers.
How has PMI succeeded?
More than 70 groups, made up of 875 women, are engaged in small-scale poultry production and are attempting to enter Nigeria's commercial poultry market. Two poultry/processing houses are almost complete in two separate communities: Mmaku and Umualor. A cooperative in Oruku has formed and is selling approximately 50 birds a week to GTBank. Bank employees place a group order with the cooperative and women manage all negotiations, packaging and deliveries. This cooperative will become part of a marketing association that will include Umualor and Mmaku and additional Women for Women International-Nigeria groups.
Consumers have responded to the production of fresh and local poultry and frequently travel two hours down dirt roads to purchase Women for Women International-Nigeria's products. Demand in and around Enugu is high: A recent survey of potential market partners demonstrated that large-scale commercial poultry vendors could not supply enough fresh poultry to meet demand.
This will be Women for Women International-Nigeria cooperatives' market nichesÑPMI participants have an advantage over frozen, expensive and chemically treated poultry products because they use less advanced technology and take advantage of the low cost of production.
In addition to processing fresh poultry meat, PMI cooperatives have also begun selling poultry manure to use as organic fertilizers in and around their communities. This next step has the potential to lead into a commercial farming activity similar to Women for Women International's Commercial Integrated Farming Initiative that combine animal husbandry and crop production.
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