Ostrich is an African origin bird with a large flightless hard body structure. It belongs to running bird family with a very hard and tough physique. It can survive in temperatures ranging from 2 degrees to 50 degrees Celsius and can be reared on barren land. It mainly consumes only green fodder and water. Ostrich farming has been started since last 150 years in South Africa, initially for its feathers, then for its hide and now for its meat also. Ostrich farming has now become an international industry with great demand for ostrich meat due to its hygiene.
Health consciousness in the modern world has led to diversified food habits. The tendency of consuming low caloric foods has resulted in an increased demand for ostrich meat and it ranks highest among health foods in Europe. The recognition of ostrich meat in terms of health value is attributed to “zero” percentage fat, low cholesterol and calories, rich in protein and iron. Besides this ostrich meat has a great taste which now has big demand.
Other than meat, ostrich produces high premium feathers, which are mostly used in fashion industry as a raw material for accessories, show business, brush industry and automobile industry. Furthermore, ostrich produces high quality Oil, Luxury Leather and other by- products.
This pre-feasibility study is about setting up an Ostrich Breeding Farm which will offer live ostrich birds for fattening and further breeding purposes to different ostrich farms, ostrich eggs (for hatching, food and shells for painting) and ostrich meat to restaurant industry along with household through super markets.
It is suggested to initiate this project in surrounding rural areas of Metropolitan cities of Pakistan like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad as most of the target customers / farms are located near these cities. It will help the businessmen to deliver ostrich meat and other by-products on time and in good hygienic condition from a nearby area.
Factors to Consider for Ostrich Farming in Pakistan
Following are the factors critical for the success of this business venture:
- Technical know-how, relevant expertise and experience of entrepreneur.
- Selection of high quality ostrich breeding birds.
- Selection of appropriate farm tools and equipment.
- The farm supervisor should ensure timely feeding, watering, lighting, vaccination, medication, temperature / humidity control and culling of ostrich birds as per best husbandry practices.
- Time management is very important in Ostrich Farming business. Delay in eggs hatching can result in high cost and delay in meat delivery can cost in thousands, as the product is perishable.
- Sanitation and disinfection program should be strictly followed and regularly monitored.
- Birds should be given enough space according to their age as less space could arise different complexities.
- Feed should not be stored for a long time as it would lose its nutrition and there is a chance that feed would get fungal and can prove to be poisonous.
- The entrepreneur should be well aware of the supply and demand of ostrich meat and other by-products in the market.
- Higher return on investment and a steady growth of business is closely associated with regular training and capacity building of the entrepreneur and employees.
Operational Capacity of Ostrich Farm in Pakistan
In this pre-feasibility study, it is proposed to start the business operations with 45 birds in order to make the project cost effective. However, with passage of time capacity of birds can be increased and in the year 10, the farm will be having 1,115 net birds.
Areas in Pakistan For Ostrich Farming
Adjoining rural areas of metropolitan cities of Pakistan, for instance Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Multan are most suitable geographical areas for investment in ostrich farming, as most of the ostrich farms are located in these areas.
Since, this pre-feasibility suggests to provide live birds of up to 2 months and ostrich eggs (for hatching) to ostrich farms and ostrich meat to restaurants and house hold consumers through super markets, therefore, it is very important to initiate this business in neighboring rural areas of suggested cities where entrepreneur can find the target market easily in order to sell the product.
Ostrich meat is a good source of protein and iron as compared to broiler or other meats. The proposed Ostrich Farm will mainly offer 2 months old ostrich chicks, ostrich eggs (for breeding, food and painting) and ostrich meat. Therefore, major target markets for the proposed project are local buyers, who generally trade for these products. Sale of ostrich bird is mostly made through personal contracts on farm gate basis or supplies to bulk / retailers in urban areas. Major clients for meat are Super Stores, Meat Markets, Restaurants and Hotels (including various 3 to 5 Star Hotel Chains) across the country.
Space Requirements for an Ostrich Farm in Pakistan
Approximately, 7 acres of land would be required for setting up the proposed Ostrich Farm. As this business is land intensive, therefore, it is suggested to purchase the required land instead of rental or leased land. However, in order to avoid the initial high capital costs, the long-term lease contract for land acquisition may be considered. But entrepreneur can be more risk free on purchased land because of making heavy investment on shed and boundary wall as well as future business expansion.
Decisions made about setting up an Ostrich Farming Unit need to be well thought out, right from the selection of the site to the final stages when the birds are sold. The farm should be located at a place where transportation of birds and feed can be easily handled. The entrepreneur should make sure that the following things are available at the farm site before setting up the farm:
- Electricity Connection
- Clean Water Supply
Machinery & Equipment Requirement for Ostrich Farming in Pakistan
Various types of farm equipment are needed for feeding, drinking, handling of the birds and for egg hatching process. List of farm machinery and equipment required for the proposed project are stated below:
- Fodder Cart New Born
- Fodder Cart for Birds
- Maize Cutter
- Water Pump with water Tank
- Incubator with Hatcher
- Drinking Trays
Investment Required for Ostrich Farming in Pakistan
A detailed financial model has been developed to analyze the commercial viability of Ostrich Farm. Various costs and revenue related assumptions along with results of the analysis are outlined in this section. The projected Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement and Balance Sheet can be studies in the pre-feasibility study of ostrich farming in Pakistan by SMEDA.