All over Africa and indeed Nigeria many young people have been able to make the right decision to pursue a career in agriculture and agribusiness. Interesting is the fact that quite a number of this youth did not even study agriculture.
Meet our Young Agropreneur for the Month of April 2014 as he gives a quick dive into his life as an agric entrepreneur and young farmer in an interview with Agropreneur Nigeria.
Can we meet you please?
My names Omonfuegbe Odianosen and am the Managing Director of Farmcentre Africa located in Ekpoma Edo State Nigeria
How did you come into agriculture?
In 2008, during my NYSC in the military barracks in Bauchi state, I fell in love with a Major’s wife’s poultry farm and she gave me some firsthand information I needed to get before setting up one. But I started full farming in 2010.Although my dad was working with the Ministry of Agriculture. But the passion growing up for livestock farming wasn’t there until 2008 in Bauchi state
What exactly did you study in the University?
I have a Bs.c in Geography and regional planning
What aspect of agriculture do you practice on your farm?
Right now our focus is on Layers to be precise (egg production) and a ranch in view
What challenges did you face while starting up as a young farmer?
Whoa, a lot of it.
But before I go there, I will love to say something very important. “No matter what u do, no matter the challenges you face, as long as you believe in yourself and God, victory is sure”.
I started my farm with 100k which I was able to save and bought 200birds. And I had to push on through tough times.
Now we have 1,650birds and we’re expecting close to 1,000 DOC at the moment. Most of the challenges basically were lack of funds. Most banks really don’t want to give you soft loans even when we hear every now and then that the government gives loans to farmers but, the young farmers hardly have access to these loans. They re sidetracked or loans are delayed to the point where the farmer is discouraged
Thank God I had few family members who were ready to risk a little of their resources to assist me although it wasn’t still enough.
Second challenge was from family members who thought I was not doing the right thing. That farming was a dirty job and it wasn’t meant for me
So right now do you pass the experience gained so farm to other youth in any way?
Yes, a lot. I assist young people for now with the technical knowhow in poultry management and especially in the kick off stage which is very critical in the business. I also have employed two people, one is the farm manager while the other is the farm assistant.
Do you face any challenges with marketing your produce?
Not really. Marketing is ok. I sited my farm in a location where there are no too many big farms around to give tough competition
Have you attended any formal training on poultry?
I attend a lot of Workshops, visit senior farmers and read a lot of books on poultry management on the internet.
What advice do you have for youth in agriculture or those planning to venture?
Keep doing what you are doing, be strong and think of how to feed a Nation, think of how to feed to continent. Refuse to quit and for those aspiring to come to agriculture, welcome on board.