The poultry farm, which will have its own feed mill on site, is expected to be one of the largest of its type in West Africa; the developers say it will create 2,000 new jobs.
Agrotop, an Israel headquartered company that is involved in livestock turnkey projects, and ISA, which specializes in finance and implementation of complex projects in Africa, said they would jointly build the new farm in the Tima and Njala areas of the Kiri Chiefdom, Moyaamba district. The complex will be constructed within two years.
The site, which will comprise 10,000 acres and will produce 194.5 million eggs a year, will consist of six-layer houses, two pullet houses, an egg-packing center, a feed mill and crop field. Agrotop and ISA will also build a community medical center, a school and a water purification system.
Gavriel Pelleg, Agrotop’s CMO and founding partner, told FeedNavigator that, as part of the contract, Agrotop and ISA will manage the farm for ten years, but the idea is to train local management that will be able to take over.
Agrotop secured the financing arrangements through an Israeli bank that is backed by ASHRA, an initiative that finances Israeli investments in developing countries and helps minimize political and commercial risks by providing state guarantee for the deals.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Patricia Laverley, said the Sierra Leone government viewed the project as critical on a national level. “We are fully committed to its success and will provide all the required financial guarantees.”
In terms of where the feed raw materials for the mill on site will be sourced, Pelleg said:
“They will come from the area. It will be mainly corn and soybeans. The area in which the farm is located is very rich in both, and is known in Sierra Leone as the ‘Corn Belt’. Anything else that will be required will be grown on the farm itself.”
When asked what the likely environmental implications of this scale of layer farm for the area is, Pelleg said that Agrotop is going to use the chicken manure generated and turn it into compost; this will then be used in turn as organic fertilizer.
“The idea is that there will be minimal waste. The eggs will be consumed as well as the chickens, so that there will be hardly any environmental footprint.”
The farm is expected to supply the entire needs of Sierra Leone’s population for accessible and low-cost protein and will export eggs to nearby countries. According to a report published in 2016 by Sierra Leone Opportunities for Business Action (SOBA), the country imports 168 million eggs a year and only about 10% of total local egg consumption is currently supplied by domestic poultry production.
Ethiopia broiler project
Agrotop is involved in several other such projects in Africa.
In June, at VIV Europe in the Netherlands, it announced that it had signed a contract to develop a large-scale integrated broiler production project with Nutropia Poultry and Feed in Ethiopia. Under the terms of that deal, Agrotop will design, build and equip the project and then provide expertise transfer and management services to Nutropia.
Once completed, they said the Nutropia project will include a parent stock rearing farm, a parent stock production farm, six broiler farms, a hatchery, slaughterhouse and poultry feed mill. The project is aimed at providing chicken meat at affordable prices to the domestic Ethiopian market and to the East African and Middle Eastern markets.
Agrotop was also involved in establishing a large-scale layer and pullet farm in Angola and in two poultry production sites in Nigeria.