The winners of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Choice Awards 2016 have been announced. Sixty young people who have exceptional leadership skills and also changing lives in their communities have been selected from across the Commonwealth. David Morfaw, 20, is the only Cameroonian that will be receiving the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Choice Awards in 2016.
He is the founder and managing director of Poult-Vault Inc, one of Africa’s fastest growing agriculture business. David’s company which he started in 2011, sells life and frozen chicken of different sizes, uses chicken waste to make biogas for household and make feather pillows from chicken feathers. This company also provides a credit and schooling scheme for women, youths and school kids.
In Cameroon, good quality meat which is a main protein source is scarce and very expensive for average citizens causing health hazards especially children. People cannot afford this necessity because of unemployment, lack of education and insufficient access to credit. Rampant deforestation for fuel and poor agricultural techniques cause soil degradation and climate change, with agriculture being the mainstay of the economy.
Poult Vault is social enterprise. We use our poultry to solve many social problems. First of all, we supply affordable good quality chicken to the community to fight against malnutrition especially in children. We use poultry manure to produce cheap renewable bio-gas systems in households therefor reducing deforestation. We combat soil degradation by producing enhanced low cost organic fertilizers for farmers. We make pillows out of feathers. Additionally, we run a credit scheme for women and youths where they get our various products on credit, paying later without any interest charged after many key training sessions. We provide access to education by people paying tuition and other school needs using farm inputs we use in the poultry.
Poult Vault is life changing. Ms Mado, a single mom with 3 kids, a small piece of land, sewing skills and no job. She started with Poult Vault with the chicken loans scheme which she sold chickens at the local markets. After training sessions on marketing, poultry keeping, entrepreneurship and biogas systems, she further got interested in the programs. She uses biogas and installs them in households and the fertilizer in her farm. Today, she is able to put all her children in school, she has opened a tailoring business for clothes and feather pillows. Her farm helps provide food for her house and extra to sell, she now supplies chickens to restaurants and she has enrolled 6 of her nieces in the Poult school program in her village.
I got into first real contact with chickens in a market when i lost my transport fare to go home. Being stranded in the market, i asked an old woman who sold chickens lend me some money which i was to return the next day. She instead told me to sell the chickens for a commission. They were 13 in number and i sold all of them for more than the prices she asked me to sell. When selling them, i realized that i liked the birds when holding them in my hands, it was much more profitable than i thought and there was a market potential. When i arrived home, i decided to keep a few chickens. That is how my journey started. I have never seen that old woman again. I consider her an angel who introduced my to my dream.
Poult Vault is a center for a diverse team. We have poultry 4 workers who are experts in poultry keeping, we also have have a part time veterinary doctor, 1 agriculturalist who is in charge of poultry inputs. We also have marketers\ sales agents for our products and services, part time trainers for training programs, an accountant and one driver for all transport. We plan to employ more experts in all products and services we provide as we grow.