After the Alim examination – equivalent to the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examination, Kaiser Alamgir decided to go on a different path than most of his fellow friends.
Instead of pursuing higher education or jobs, he wanted to be an entrepreneur in poultry farming and aquaculture.
After receiving training in cattle, poultry and fish farming from the Youth Development Centre in Chattogram city, he took a loan of Tk50,000 from his contractor father Ahmadur Rahman and built a shed of 1,500 square feet on the roof of his house.
Kaiser, a resident of the Hasondandi area in Chandanaish upazila of Chattogram, started farming broiler chickens with 1,000 chicks in his rooftop shed in 1998 and he never had to look back ever since.
The business continued to grow from poultry to fish farming, making him the district’s best fish farmer for 2018.
With broilers and layers of poultry and a variety of fish in his farm inventory, Kaiser’s homegrown business is now worth around Tk2 crore and growing.
Kaiser’s chicken farm is located on 1.20 acres of land next to Laltia Pahar in Chandanish upazila of Chattogram. He also has five fish projects on 20 acres of land in the same area.
He said 15 people are working at his farm “Shah Jabbaria Agro” with salaries ranging from Tk10,000 to a maximum of Tk22,000.
With a sigh of satisfaction, Kaiser said, “I sell poultry and fish worth Tk1 crore annually. I have cultivated various fish in my enclosures including Pangash, Shing, Koi, Bata and carp fishes.”
When asked about his success story, he said, “I have reached this position bit by bit with hard work, patience and concentration. But the journey was not all smooth.”
“I suffered huge losses due to various reasons at different times but I did not give up. I had to be an entrepreneur – that was my perseverance,” he said.
“I have four brothers and a lone sister. I have dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur since childhood and making a family business. I wanted to involve my brothers in the family business and I did it. Each of my brothers now has their own poultry, cattle and fish farming businesses,” Kaiser said.
While maintaining the firms, Kaiser somehow managed to continue his study alongside. He graduated from Uttar Satkania Zafar Ahmad Chowdhury Degree College.
Kaiser said he feels content that he has the ability to take care of the family with his business income. “Many of my friends went after jobs but could not become self-reliant at all,” he said.
After the Alim examination, my family and relatives wanted me to go to the city to pursue higher education but I did not, he said, adding that official jobs never really attracted him that much.
“In the first year, I made a profit of around Tk 1 lakh from poultry farming. Two years later I began fish farming and the amount of profit increased year-on-year,” he said.
When asked about his future plans, Kaiser said he wants to expand his fish enclosures. “I want to increase the number of ponds by utilising the surrounding lands. I have taken training to cultivate more fish in less space.”
Kaiser’s advice to the youth – Do not chase jobs, become an entrepreneur. “In addition to being self-sufficient, many people can be employed. It also plays a role in the country’s economy,” he said.
He also wants the government to reduce the duty on imported chicken and fish feed.
“Even though the prices of poultry and fish feed increase, the farmers cannot sell fish and chicken at high prices. The authorities concerned should pay attention to this matter so that the farmers do not incur losses,” the farmer said.
Chittagong District Fisheries Officer Farhana Lovely told The Business Standard that Kaiser has set an example for the unemployed to become self-reliant.
“Like Kaiser, youths should come forward in doing livestock and fish farming other than running after jobs,” she added.
Being a role model for many, new entrepreneurs often visit Kaiser’s farm for advice. One of them is a young man named Didarul Alam who built a fish farm with advice from Kaiser.
Didarul said, “Following Kaiser’s footsteps, many young people in the locality have taken similar initiatives. Some 10-12 youths in Kaiser’s village have also become successful entrepreneurs in the farming sector.”
Kaiser has formed a cooperative society called “Alokito Jubo Samabay” (Enlighted Youth Society) with 100 youths in his village. Raising funds through this cooperative, they have built “Alokito Community Centre”.
Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Md Elias Hosain awarded Kaiser Alamgir in 2018 as the successful fish farmer of the district.