News: Kentucky ADT visits chicken farm entrepreneur
Story by 2nd Lt. Ashleigh Peck
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Members of the Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team visited with a local chicken farm owner in Khenj District Dec. 12.
Shanawaz Khan is a Go Joeal villager who started his chicken farm about 16 months ago with 30 chickens.
Today Khan has more than 800 laying hens and he looks to continue the growth of his business in the future.
“I’d like to have 8,000 chickens to produce enough eggs for all of Panjshir and one day, all of Afghanistan,” Khan said through an interpreter.
“He impressed me from the beginning with his proactive biological security, experience and vision,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Casada, Kentucky National Guard ADT leader and London, Ky. native.
Kentucky ADT visited Khan to see the condition of the farm and talk with him about his plans for the future of his operation.
Khan says he sells many of his eggs at the Anaba Bazaar and adds that he has customers from Kabul who like his “country” eggs as opposed to the “city” eggs.
Currently, Khan said has more demand than he can keep up with. “Sometimes I turn off my phone because people call asking for eggs even after we’ve run out.”
In the future, Khan would like to move to a new location with a bigger facility to provide more space for feeding with additional nesting boxes for his chickens.
“Ideally, a chicken farm has one nesting box for every six hens. The chicken farm here has one nesting box for every 20 hens,” Casada said.
Khan talked with Kentucky ADT about getting funds for his future goals.
The Kentucky ADT said a micro grant or low-interest loan may be options for Khan to get the money to make his goals happen.
A micro grant puts money in the hands of private entrepreneurs to expand their operations and Khan may be a good candidate.
“We look for people with energy and enthusiasm who already have something going,” Casada said. “Whatever is done, we want to help in a way that will be sustainable for years to come.”