APEH OMEDE -AGROPRENEUR OF THE MONTH(JANUARY 2013)

Apeh Omede

My name is Apeh Omede. I am currently working as Researcher/Assistant Lecturer in the Animal Production Department at Kogi State University. It was never my initial intention to study or take up a career in Agriculture. However, with time, I got so interested and I decided to remain in the field of Agriculture.

My first challenge was that I did not know the opportunities and career options that agriculture offers. Apart from that so many of my friend had disabused my mindset with the wrong notion that agriculture is all about hoes and cutlasses and waiting for months before receiving dividends.

My first hit on a chance to be delivered from this confusion was when I attended my first animal production conference at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike as a year two Animal Science and Technology Student. There, I got to know that even common specie of animal like poultry has an internationally acclaimed and known World Association networking professional businessmen, scientists and researchers, manufacturers just in the field of poultry. So, I joined the association and other related ones locally and internationally and later on I started receiving their journals and magazines. The things I saw as pictures and the research works I read about poultry in the journals changed my mindset entirely. Some of these organisations include World’s Poultry Science Association – http://www.wpsa.com. There is a Nigeria branch which will be hosting a Nigeria International Poultry Summit between 17-21 Feb, 2013 at Abeokuta. More about the summit on http://www.nipsng.com, Alltech Young Scientist Competition – http://www.alltechyoungscientist.com
and British Society for Animal Science – http://www.bsas.org.uk – This has a free membership program for students.

I also had the opportunity to listen to the stories of several professors and big time farmers who wanted to initially opt out of agro-related lifestyles and how their decision to stay back has changed their lives.

In my final year, I met my professor, who introduced me to another level of what Agricultural Research future holds for me. Since then, I have turned to agricultural research. Through my research and membership of association related to agriculture, I have had the opportunities to participate in several young scientist competitions such as the Alltech Young Scientist Competition, and the World’s Poultry Congress Young Scientist award, which I have also received twice. Today, I have networks of friends and several opportunities in Agriculture.

My advice to every youth is not to just jump into conclusion about agriculture based on what people say. The truth is that agriculture is the only hope for the unemployed youths in this nation. The earlier young people begin to explore the entrepreneurial opportunities agriculture presents, the better chances of livelihood for them.

Contributed by
APEH OMEDE is a Young Professional in ARD and currently lectures at the Kogi State University North Central Nigeria.

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