Agro business

Exploiting Agribusiness Opportunities in Africa: Food Security, Employment, and Economic growth

Photo credit: esoko.com

In various continents of the world, Agribusiness has been known to be a driver of economic growth. In Africa, it has a positive impact as it accounts for 30% of national income as well as a bulk of export revenues and employment. Kenya for example, is a key producer of tea, accounting for 59.6% of total production in Africa. The country is a leading tea exporter and one of the largest black tea producers in the world. With an estimate of 33 million small holder farms in Africa, a vibrant agriculture driven economy can cause increase in yields, increase in income generation, reduce in post- harvest losses and thereby put an end to food wastage. Agribusiness is capable of initiating the agricultural growth that will positively improve the livelihood of Africa’s increasing population. It can fasten Africa’s progress towards development.

In Nigeria for example, over 78.4 million people are willing, able and actively looking for job, development in agribusiness can have a direct impact on this people because an efficient and effective agribusiness will lead to increased employment in agro industrial activities.

Agribusiness does not only cover farmers it covers input suppliers, agro processors, traders, exporters and retailers. It is a term which indicates farming and all other industries, and services, that constitute the supply chain. The business of agriculture is not to be neglected in development priorities, the focus should not only be on urban industrialization, government need to get their role right on building necessary industrial capability and capacity, strengthening managerial capacity and promoting institutional services.

To successfully achieve desired result in agribusiness, understanding and comprehension of the nature of the business and its untapped opportunities is important. Food importation in African countries has to reduce and promotion of local agricultural products has to be carried out adequately. Although there are challenges as regards climate, policies, governance, laws, infrastructure and basic services, the goals to end poverty, hunger, have improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture should be a focus that will ensure motivation. To reduce the incidence of extreme poverty and unemployment, increase in importation, massive migration of rural peasants into the cities, agribusiness needs to be promoted and financially supported efficiently and effectively.

Africa’s projected population by 2050 is 2 billion; the continent has an estimate of more than one- fourth of the total un-fed people in the world. To guide against starvation, rapid rise in food prices, severe malnutrition, food riots, extreme poverty, higher rate of social vices and diseases; there is indeed a crucial need, to exploit the opportunities in agribusiness and make the business of agriculture more productive and profitable like never before so as to achieve improved social outcomes and solve the problem of poverty and food insecurity.

For a better result, Africa needs to take important decisions concerning agribusiness opportunities and act in a better way.

Written by Idowu T.Owoeye

 

A lifestyle of Passion and Hardwork – Atinuke’s story on her Agribusiness and challenges

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Atinuke on the farm

This month we introduce you to Atinuke Lebile a young agro-entrepreneur without a family farming background but has grown for herself a lifestyle in Agriculture that is inspired by passion and hardwork. Atinuke started her agribusiness year 2014, today she has sole income from her 10 acre farm where she plants plantain, cassava, rice and vegetables while also processing some of her farm products.

Agropreneur Naija had an interview with her where she tells us about herself, how she started her agribusiness enterprise, challenges she faced when she first started up and how she was able to hold on despite the challenges faced.

Q1: Agropreneur, can we meet you?

Answer:  My name is Atinuke Lebile a native of Ondo State, Nigeria. I live in Ibadan, Nigeria. I am a rising young female, social agro-entrepreneur with apt interest in societal and human capital development. I manage La’Luce Foods and Integrated Services. I’m a Strategic Officer at Ogunmod Farms & Farmers and Farmers’ Academy and a Production Manager at Cato Foods and Agro- allied Global Concepts. I have a passion for feeding the nation and I’m so overly excited about agriculture. I was born in December!

Q2: How do you view Agribusiness?

Answer: Agriculture is a lifestyle borne out of passion. In this way I’m able to face challenges and head on when they arise.

Q3: Did you grow up on an Agricultural farm?

Answer:  No, I don’t have a farming family background.

Q4: So, what brought you into Agribusiness?

Answer: Passion and business. In spite of me being a graduate of Agriculture from the University of Ilorin, my venture into agribusiness was largely of passion and the need to do agriculture in a more attractive way like a real profitable business. The need to reduce postharvest losses experienced by farmers and develop the value chain of primary agricultural products also motivated me to go into agribusiness. I still strongly believe agriculture needs to become attractive especially to young people like me; we are the future of Africa.

Q5: When did you venture into Agribusiness?

Answer:  I started agribusiness in the year 2014.

Q6: What Agribusiness do you manage?

Answer:  I am into cultivation of vegetables, plantain, cassava and rice. I package ofada rice, fruits, chips, plantain flour, garri, catfish in various sizes (100g – 50kg), and I’m also involved in agro-processing.

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Atinuke harvesting her corn from the farm.

Q7:  How many acres is your farm?

Answer: 10acres

Q8: Is farming your only source of income?

Answer: YES

Q9: What time does your day start and end?

Answer: My day starts at 4am and ends at 11pm

Q10: Does your family have an influence on your Agribusiness?

Answer: Yes, they do. They respect my choice and provide guidance where and when necessary. Even though while starting my dad was not happy seeing his only daughter going into farming. He has    been a great support, just like every member of my family. Financial and moral support from my family has really been encouraging.

Q11: Did you face any challenge while starting up?

Answer: YES!

Q12: What challenge did you face, and how did you deal with it?

Answer: Funding is a major challenge for startups and I wasn’t exempted in the funding issue. I also faced the challenge of standardization and certification by NAFDAC. I chose to start small to achieve my big dreams in terms of finance. I also learnt a lot from mentors.

Q13: What part of Agribusiness do you find hard?

Answer:  Primary Production

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Atinuke performing irrigation on the soil

Q15: What part of Agribusiness do you find most satisfying?

Answer: The part of having to create products through postharvest processing and cultivate to feed people

Q16: What is the difference in your Agribusiness now and when you started?

Answer: I am still operating at a small scale compared to where I would love to be, but I am not where I used to be. No matter how small progress is, it is still progress anyway.

Q17: Have you ever considered getting out of agriculture for a more lucrative career? Answer: Agriculture is the only sector that has the capacity to create many jobs. My passion has always kept me going. However, there are times that one just feels overwhelmed.

Q18:  How do you see your role in your community?

Answer:  My role in my community is a very crucial one because I provide food on people’s table.

Q19: How do you think the government should implement the change in the agricultural sector?

Answer: There should be strong input from the youths on policy formulations that can drive the agricultural sector in the direction of commercialization and business development. Agricultural inputs should be subsidized and marketing board should be developed.

Q20: Have you seen any change in the present government involvement with agriculture in Nigeria?

Answers:  I believe there will be a change. But I would suggest that they should improve on the achievements of the last administration

Q21: Do you think Nigerians are aware or care about mechanized farming?

Answer: Sure, Nigerians care about mechanized farming

Q22: What changes do you predict the agricultural sector in Nigeria will see over the next 3 years?

Answer: There is going to be more youth involvement. Agriculture will create a lot of jobs and it will benefit from diversified funds.

Q23: Do you have any neighbor, family or friend that have given up Agribusiness?

Answer: YES, a lot.

Q24: What made them choose to give up?

Answer: It was mostly due to the enormous challenges of finance, marketing, climate change, most importantly impatience.

Q25: Do you plan to extend your Agribusiness?

Answer: YES

Q26: What is your plan?

Answer:  To expand postharvest production and create more jobs. I intend to expand production to reach out to more markets.

Q27: What advice would you give a friend that is also an Agropreneur?

Answer: Take Agriculture as a business. It is viable when you give your best to it. Don’t seek overnight success. Agric will not give you sudden wealth but it will build you sustainable wealth. More females need to come into agriculture because females do things with more precision, care and passion.

Follow her on Twitter , Linkedin

 

 

Nigeria: Attend 9th Edition of Western Nigeria Intl. Agribusiness Conference, Ondo State Nigeria (WESNAGRIC SUMMIT)

MCG Agribusiness Development Activity

Photo credit: Flickr, MCG Agribusiness Development Activity

The 9th Edition of Western Nigeria International Agribusiness Conference, Exhibition, Seminar and training would take place this year at the Ondo state cultural center, Adegbemile, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria from the 11th – 13th August, 2015. The conference provides a common ground for both local and international Agribusiness stakeholders, companies, producers, Marketers, importers, investors, farmers, exporters and others to interact, share ideas, expand their business network within and outside the West African countries, while encouraging trade and investment between companies and farmers in west Africa states and other countries of the world. The opening ceremony starts at 1:30pm on August 11, 2015.

The Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) is organizing the event in partnership/sponsorship with The Ondo state Government and hereby invites all stakeholders to attend. The Conference is in technical partnership with IFDC, PAN, AFAP, AFAN, USAID WAFP. Other partners include; Top feeds, FIIRO, FIDAN among others.

The Agribusiness conference, exhibition and training is a unique opportunity to learn about the farming/agribusiness, network with agribusiness professionals and is designed to promote both local and international agribusiness, food and nutrition, Agribusiness Marketing/ Information, Entrepreneurship, Production, Processing, Agric Financing and Insurance, Equipment/Tractors, Export and Agro business enterprises development.

The conference is aimed at advancing agribusiness, marketing, financing, processing, export and entrepreneurship development in Africa through agric exhibitions, training/workshop for farmers and investors on new farming techniques, business networking and market information. Arrangements have been made to invite experts from within and outside the country, various bodies, embassies, ministries, agencies, associations, research institutes, financial institutions and stakeholders for a successful and profitable conference in Nigeria.

WHO IS TO PARTICIPATE?
Animal health and Nutrition companies, Feeds/Feed millers, Hygiene and Disinfectants, Processors, Poultry and livestock equipments, Veterinary pharmaceuticals and Dog food/Nutrition, Feed milling equipments, Fishery equipments, Farm Machineries, Equipments and Tractors, Hatchery and Breeder farms, livestock and Poultry Producers, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Agrochemical, Fertilizer, Seeds, Agric Input dealers, Producers, Marketers, Distributors, Researchers, Research and financial Institutions, Ministries of Agriculture and Agencies, Embassies, FBOs, and Investors.

DURATION
The programme is for 3 days with participants who will consist of both local and foreign agribusiness entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Over 10,000 participants are expected from within and outside Nigeria.
The conference is segmented as follows; Agribusiness/stakeholders forum/meeting, product presentation, exhibitions, seminar/workshop/training, Farm visit/tours, personal/business contact. Etc. There will also be government, investors and stakeholder agribusiness forum.

EXHIBITION
The exhibition is open to livestock and poultry farmers, aquaculture, feeds and nutrition, animal health and pharmaceuticals, breeder farms and hatcheries, livestock and poultry equipments, feed milling and aquaculture equipments, machineries, agrochemicals, seeds, inputs, fertilizers, equipment/tractors, crops, apiculture, financial institutions/banks, diplomatic mission and trade representations, agencies and parastatals, embassies, local, state and federal ministries of agriculture, ADP centers, agro raw materials, agro-allied and food manufacturers, NGOs and CBOs.

BENEFIT TO PARTICIPATING COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
The conference will afford the companies and organizations the opportunity to reach out to thousands of farmers, potential farmers, marketers, producers, processors, distributors, retailers in Nigeria and other countries on their activities and programmes. The conference will also bring agribusiness stakeholders, companies and investors together from various states, countries and backgrounds for exchange of ideas, knowledge, business link and marketing networks.

NOTE (SPECIAL TRAINING): There will be a special business training programme within the conference premises, organized by USAID, IFDC, and AFAP. Business management skills; Business planning; Access to finance and financial management; Marketing plan/relationship; Stock and record keeping; Safe use of agric inputs for MSMEs; Importance of FBOs in the effective management, Marketing and value chain in fertilizer agribusiness development would be facilitated. However, only 90 people are to be selected for the training on first come first serve. i.e 30 people per day.

If you are Interested in Advert and Exhibition for the conference?
Call: +2348058445547, +2348184186066, +2348035820615 or
Email: anbiagribusiness@gmail.com

For Hotel Bookings contact DEJI ONI or Middleman on 07062097858, 08117997777

Download Wesniagric Poster and Flyer

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Poster

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