Against the backdrop of a growing number of start-up small and medium scale business people giving lack of funds as the reason for their inability to start their preferred businesses, Anga Sotonye, a food processing expert, has stated that with a sum of N328,000 or $2,000, anyone can go into and make a success of food processing business.
Sotonye spoke at the 29th edition of the Omolayole Annual Management Lecture series which held recently in Lagos, with the theme “Agricultural Innovation and Contemporary Investment Opportunities.” He spoke on the topic: “New Path to Wealth: Micro and Small Scale Food Processing in Africa.”
The event was well attended by students, captains of industry and top government officials where Sotonye, coordinator, agribusiness and youth empowerment, Community of Agricultural Stakeholders of Nigeria (CASON) delivered the address.
Anga said that the capital outlay required to set up any micro or small-scale agribusiness that adds value to primary agricultural products and crops will range between as little as $2,000 and $45,000 (N328,000 and N7,380,000).
He called on governments in Nigeria and across Africa to provide incentives that will support and encourage young people to establish small scale food processing businesses as a way to reduce unemployment and poverty in the continent. He added that supporting such initiatives will result in several economic benefits for any country in Africa including taking the youths off the streets, reducing crime rate, restoring dignity to young people and guarantee market for farmers and farm produce.
Commending the current administration’s drive at boosting agribusiness, Sotonye said many Nigerians now see a good future in agriculture. “So many farmers who abandoned farming some years ago are now returning to it, and this is because they now see a future in Nigeria’s agribusiness.”
He further said the message was becoming clearer by the day to leaders and financial institutions that lending to the agricultural sector in Nigeria must be at a single digit interest rate period. “You will kill our farmers when you lend to them at 26 percent per annum. Agribusiness is not cocaine business, but once the sector is well supported and strengthened, we will see Nigerian farmers doing agribusiness, making good profit and someday, we will see farmers own their own private jets and helicopters because they need these for serious business.”
Photo credit IITA