This month February takes us to meet Tosin Awoyinka. Tosin a young lady with lot of passion for agriculture. This passion is reflected in her daily activity as Head of Aquaculture, Jamilaville Farms,Minna Niger State Nigeria. At 25 years of age, Tosin has earned a Bachelors in Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Akure where she studied Agricultural Engineering, she also bagged a Certificate in Integrated Farming System from the Songhai Farms and has over 3 years experience in various aspect of agriculture and she has not hesitated to share her passion for agriculture with other youths like her.
Nominated as Agropreneur Naija’s Young Agropreneur( YAP) of the Month of February 2014, we meet up with her as she shares her journey so far in Agriculture.
AGROPRENEUR Naija -WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN AGRICULTURE?
Tosin Awoyinka- Like most JAM Bite I was given a course I never applied for and knew nothing about but I was taught a course during my third year on what Agricultural Engineering entails and that was when i realised that i could actually do a lot in the agriculture sector and I have been running with this goals since then. Food, Nutrition and Development
AGROPRENEUR Naija – WHAT DO YOU PRESENTLY DO
Tosin Awoyinka – I Work as the Head of Department, aquaculture and crop cultivation in Jamilaville Farms Minna, Niger State.
AGROPRENEUR Naija – HOW MANY OTHER FEMALES WORK WITH YOU AT JAMILAVILLE FARMS?
Tosin Awoyinka – I have just 2 other female colleagues in the mist of over 65 other men who also work on the farm
AGROPRENEUR Naija – AS A LADY DON’T YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE BETTER OFF IN AN OFFICE OR BIG MULTINATIONAL
Tosin Awoyinka – Well I think in that regards it should be a function of interest. And note that we also have offices in the farm. I believe every profession has both the administrative and field work
AGROPRENEUR Naija – WHAT CHALLENGE DO YOU FACE AS A YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE AND IN YOUR LINE OF WORK
Tosin Awoyinka – For me as a person, one of the challenges is land to start off on my own as I want to focus on processing and post harvest production as an entrepreneur. Aside this is the challenge of water supply, funds and resources to work with.
AGROPRENEUR Naija – WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER YOUTH ESPECIALLY LADIES AS REGARDS GETTING INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE
Tosin Awoyinka – Despite urbanisation, agriculture remains the largest employer in many countries. But it is too often seen as an employment of last resort, avoided by young people especially by those with secondary and tertiary education. Yet millions of youth remain unemployed. For a fact people think agriculture is for the old people but i want to encourage all the youth out there agriculture is the in thing to do. Youth like me are vibrant, energetic; we are too powerful to let it all go to waste. Youth should not limit their view of agriculture to just farming alone. Agriculture has lot more, there is production, processing, marketing distribution and all we have to do is pick one of this many areas and work in the area. There is going to be more changes in our economies if youth and especially the ladies can put more interest in agriculture. There is that notion that some jobs are meant for particular sex agriculture inclusive. But evidence has demonstrated that women involvement in agriculture would not only increase income but would also increase the economy of the nation, livelihood of persons and their family and also reduce unemployment. Youth should decide now and decide quickly before it is too late. Remember it’s cool to farm and that agriculture is sexy.