WHILE some persons turn their backs on agriculture and get a 'typical 9 to 5', Stacey Robinson is doing just the opposite.
Co-workers and friends alike tried to convince her not to leave a good job with a large company for a start-up, says Robinson, managing director of Robinson's Fowl Farm.
“The poultry business is very saturated because of the ease of start-up and the high demand for chicken,” she said, adding, however, that business is “a passion.”
The Portland-based poultry farm is the 19th nominee in the Observer's Mogul in the Making start-up programme.
Getting the business started posed little challenge to Robinson, who said she spent much time visiting restaurants and shops to find buyers before she even started. The initial legwork paid off, as her first batch of 200 chickens was sold off after only two sales.
Since starting last July, her business has expanded to three coops, each with about 400 at various stages of growth.
So far, the only problem has been transporting her stock from Portland to Kingston because of bad roads and high gas prices.
The farm, which has a staff of up to eight depending on the tasks to be done, continues to grow. Robinson said she may begin marketing chickens from other farms, a proposal that has been made to her by several people. Additionally, contract farmers may soon supply Robinson's Fowl Farm, a move she said will help to meet the demand for “fresh, naturally grown chickens”.
Her own farm will be expanded when she finds a new location, this one nearer to Kingston. Plans are also underway to finalise the brand's packaging.
The young entrepreneur has no regrets about starting her business and encourages others to do the same. “Entrepreneurship is really the way forward for Jamaica, especially for young people”, she said. “Gone are the days when you go to school to become employees. Now is the time to become employers.”