There is no doubt that Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen. It is also one of the major social problems affecting the country’s growth and development.

Many Nigerians are unable to meet their basic needs because they do not have jobs. Institutions churn out graduates every year, but with little prospect of finding work. The few jobs offered are based not on merit or competence but favoritism. Unemployment leads to all kinds of social vices. There are ways in which the government can deal with this monster affecting the country. One way is for governments to make agriculture more attractive by providing a favourable environment.

Quail farming is one alternative to unemployment. For me, raising quails, chickens, rabbits, geese, snails, guinea pigs and antelopes has become second nature. The production of these animals, especially quail, has brought great opportunities for income and health to small farmers, providing an alternative to unemployment and poverty for rural and urban farmers. That’s why Giovanna Farms has launched an initiative to promote quail farming as an appropriate career that contributes to food security, wealth and health.

Quail farming is becoming a productive industry as cattle, another major source of protein, is being depleted by desert encroachment, pest attacks and other factors. Quails can be raised in small areas and each quail produces an egg a day. Quails are poor feeders, but they are good egg producers, so they just need to keep their surroundings clean. In terms of nutritional value, quail meat or eggs taste better than chicken and contain less fat and cholesterol.

CoturnixCoturnix (coturnix), a Korean fish, is considered a promising “micro-farm” breed for urban and rural development because it requires little capital, equipment, space and Labour and can provide cheap, readily available, high-quality meat and eggs. People have been raised for food in Japan and the United States since prehistoric times. Quail are now raised for meat and eggs in different countries in America, Asia and Africa.

Although quail farming helps alleviate the protein deficiency in the diet of people in developing countries, quails are largely neglected as livestock breeds due to their large size. Most farmers concentrate on chicken production. As a result, their real contribution to healthy food production is largely ignored or underestimated by extension workers and other development workers in the agricultural sector in developing countries and by policy makers. In Nigeria, in particular, little is known about their production, medicinal value, marketing and consumption in smallholder conditions. In my opinion, quail farming should be encouraged, with special attention to the traditional subsistence farming practices of farmers with limited resources.

Quail farming in Nigeria is now growing in a frenzy, attracting entrepreneurs to see it as a complementary business proposition or as a major source of sustainable income. But either proposition is likely to pay off handsomely. This is a fair confirmation of the position that, if professionally managed, quail farming is likely to be an important wealth-creating activity worth considering in the country.

Local demand for quail meat and eggs is growing as people become more health-conscious and avoid red meat and eggs that contain cholesterol.

Quail farming is an unusual business in Nigeria. The few who accept it not only smile, but also enjoy the nutritional and health benefits of eating it. There is no doubt that the booming aquaculture industry may soon gradually replace the domestic chicken-poultry business.

High returns and low feeding costs are one reason why many farmers quickly turn to quail farming. A mature chicken – a chicken consumes an average of 150g of food a day and needs regular medication, while a quail eats 20g of food a day and hardly needs medication.

Quail farming business in Nigeria