UNDP’s Growth Accelerator helps a poultry farmer grow his business and increase production

June 21, 2023

Workers of A-Fah Poultry Farm in a group photo with the Resident Representative of UNDP Sierra Leone, Pa Lamin Beyai (second from the right)

UNDP/Janet Dabire

Two years ago, Hassan Kamara, established  A-Fah Poultry Farm to produce eggs in Masiaka , a town in Port Loko District about 40 miles from Freetown. A-Fah Poultry Farm focuses on producing healthy eggs for consumption locally and also for sale in Freetown. 

Hassan who has lived in the UK for 20 years, has plans of venturing into agriculture on a large scale. The poultry farm is his first venture. His research pointed to the fact that it has potential as the demand for eggs keeps increasing.  

He, therefore, started his poultry farm in 2021 with 7,000 layers. Five months later, A-Fah Poultry Farm started harvesting its first crates of eggs, about 5,000 eggs per day at its peak from the 7,000 layers. But within a year, he started having challenges.

“The price of feeds went up, we do not grow enough maize in Sierra Leone, so we import from Guinea and Mali. But as a result of the forex exchanges, the cost of maize doubled,  and we stopped making profits. We started struggling to find resources to buy the maize. I sold 3,000 of the layers to raise funds to feed the remaining birds. But that didn’t solve all our challenges,” Hassan explains. 

In 2022, he applied to the UNDP Growth Accelerator programme, as an informal business. He sought support to formalize his business and grow it. The panel saw the high level of investment and the potential of his business. As a result, they decided to award him a grant as an established business.

The UNDP  Growth Accelerator programme is designed to support and empower local entrepreneurs and businesses, with a particular emphasis on women and youth-led enterprises with investments through grants, technical assistance, and mentorship.

Hassan requested the Growth Accelerator to support the purchase of Day-Old ISA Brown CS chicks, a used van for distributing the eggs and pre-grower feed as his first milestone. 

“The Growth Accelerator support was a big boost for our business. I am happy to note I have doubled my number of chickens from 4,000 to 8,000 and imported the used van as well with the funding received ”, Hassan told a team from UNDP. 

 Hassan has identified feeds as the most expensive item in operating his poultry business. It costs him on average about SLE 500,000 Sierra Leones ($250) per day to feed the 8,000 birds on his farm. He is committed to reducing the cost by sourcing for maize a key ingredient in the feed locally. 

A-Fah Poultry Farm has therefore started a maize out-grower scheme with five farmers. A-Fah Poultry Farm has supported the farmers to clear their land, training them on improved maize production, and will supply improved maize seeds to the farmers.

 Hassan is expectant, the out-grower scheme will reduce his expenditure on feeds when the farmers begin harvesting from their ten-hectare maize farm. He hopes his maize farm will come in handy when the cost increases during the dry season. A-Fah Farm employs seven staff currently, six are based at the farm and one handles marketing.

The UNDP Growth Accelerator aims to provide comprehensive support to Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs, to help them to scale up their businesses, enhance production, and contribute to sustainable economic development in their communities. 

The Growth Accelerator Programme 

In 2022, UNDP Sierra Leone together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs (MOYA), launched the Growth Accelerator Programme to support the economic and social growth of 55 innovative, viable, and ambitious Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with a particular emphasis on women and youth-led enterprises. The first cohort of 34 MSMEs has received investments through grants, technical assistance, and mentorship. 


Hassam Kamara, owner of A-Fah Poultry Farm

UNDP/Janet Dabire