NAFDAC

A TEEP ALUMNI TALKS ABOUT HIS CASSAVA BUSINESS, ADVICES UPCOMING YOUNG AGROPRENEURS

Photo Credit: Kolawole Omotola 

This month we interview Kolawole Omotola a young entrepreneur from Ekiti state. He is also a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) Alumni, today he has a cassava processing facility where he packages “garri” for consumers within and outside his community. Omotola is one youth who have succeeded with support through business skills training, mentoring, access to seed capital funding and together with passion for entrepreneurship.

We introduce him as our Young Agropreneur of the Month, here he tells us his story, how he started and established his company “Oyinkola Enterprises” and how he overcame market acceptance of his product which was his major challenge. He discusses constraints to cassava business among others. Omotola ends with his future plans, recommendations for government and advice to upcoming youth intending to go into Agribusiness.

Introduction

I am Kolawole Omotola, a native of Ekiti state, a graduate of Computer Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State and the CEO of Oyinkola Enterprises.

I am a member of a big family with many siblings. I had no choice but to strive and cater for myself. This thought me to stay focused and be determined to never give up and be a great achiever. Growing up was indeed by God’s grace. I have great passion for agricultural activities and I have a goal to produce food for my community.

Starting up

I am into cassava crop processing, I am a garri maker! The major challenge that was faced while starting up was market acceptance. But with God it came as a success, our product was evenly embraced by all in the community.

 

Photo credit: Kolawole Omotola

Benefits

  • Agribusiness is my lifestyle; I personally made the choice of the business of agriculture. I am happy doing it because I am achieving my dreams. It gives me joy when customers give happy comments on the product, like your garri was wonderful; we so much enjoy taking it.
  • Oyinkola Enterprises have employees that help in the cassava crop processing. We have 4 permanent staffs and about 8 casual staffs with different roles. We have been able to create little jobs for the society as the women who come to peel our crops go home with little cash at the end of the day to help with their various family; we also train our workers to gain some skills, this we believe has its multiplier effect on our productivity as an enterprise.

Constraints

  • The hardest part of the business is the peeling of crops before grating and what makes this difficult is lack of peeling machine. We believe, as soon as the enterprise is able to get this machine, our work will be easier and faster.
  • Another issue we are experiencing is on some of our causal staffs who have little or no formal education; we are faced with the problem of starting with them from the crash.
  • Government’s inconsistent policy is also a major constraint that needs a positive change and adjustment. This will encourage more youths to be involved in the business of agriculture.

Future Plans

  • Even though we still purchase cassava crops from farmers to process, we are planning on cultivating our own cassava and increasing the quantity of our processed product.
  • We intend to venture into the business of industrial starch and cassava flour soonest.
  • We are planning to have a branch in Ekiti state before the end of the year and hope to have branches of Oyinkola Enterprises in different states of Nigeria as time goes on.

Recommendation to the Government

  • Kindly empower more extension workers to assist farmers on their farm to get it right on modern farming techniques and methods.
  • Help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by easing the process of getting the NAFDAC number for their products.
  • Ensure adequate access to agricultural machinery, like the tractor, plough etc.

Advice for Upcoming Entrepreneurs and Youths 

  • My advice is that you should be ready to face your life and prepare to start small because where you start from will not be where you will be in few months after starting. Start now and face the challenges ahead as life itself is a challenge. So this is a challenge worth facing to better your life, family and community. You will be proud you did!

Many youths always complain of fund as the major problem of not starting their dream business. But I will say it is not the first thing to consider if one wants to start. Firstly, seek for more knowledge on that particular business and before you are done with that, there will be provision of finance.

Oyinkola Enterprises on Facebook, Website

 

Syngenta Launches Ampligo amongst other Products

Syngenta-1140x641Subsequent to the massive destruction of tomatoes by Tuta Absoluta, Syngenta Nigeria yesterday launched Ampligo, a simple and fast crop protection solution against many insect-pests that ravaged food crops in Nigeria-especially in Northern part of the country recently.

Syngenta, the leading agricultural company helping to improve global food security has also launched two new tomato hybrids; Chibli and Kilele alongside two local rice varieties; Faro 44 and Faro 52.

These launches, according to the company’s country Director Dr Shachi Sharma, reflects “Syngenta’s continued commitment to playing a leading role in the transformation of Nigeria’s agriculture”.

Ampligo, according to him, is a simple and fast acting crop protection product for use anytime against many insect- pests in many crops, especially against Tuta Absoluta , a deadly pest that if not controlled, can destroy up to 100% of the tomatoes on a field.

“Thousands of Nigerian farmers have suffered great loss due to this pest and Ampligo provides an effective solution.

“Ampligo works against wide varieties of sucking and biting pests in vegetables, potatoes and field crops, giving up to 21 days protection. This means that, farmers can reduce the number of times they need to spray their fields, saving them time, energy and cost –while freeing up time for them to conduct other important tasks.”

On one hand, Syngenta has launched Chibli hybrid tomato variety for farmers who grow for both the fresh and for the tomato processing market. According to Sharma, the variety grows well across different agro-ecological zones and has a high solid content making it suitable for tomato paste processors.

On the other hand, Kilele is a high quality hybrid tomato that can be harvested over a 10-week period compared to local varieties that can only be harvested over a four week period or so. The long harvesting period extends farmers’ sales window, increasing their abilities to optimize their returns.
According to Sharma, Nigeria currently imports 2.9 million tons of rice. “In a bid to support the government’s drive to boost local rice production, Syngenta is multiplying, cleaning, treating and packaging local popular rice varieties developed by AfricaRice by training and up-skilling Nigerian farmers as out-grower seed producers. Due to this effort, farmers across Nigeria now have access to high quality certified Faro 44 and Faro 52 rice seeds, assuring them of improved germination and yield.”

“Syngenta Nigeria Limited has worked tirelessly with smallholder farmers and key partners on multiple crops in multiple states across the country. Working closely with key national institutions like NAFDAC, NASC, NIHORT, NPQS, and FMARD and other stakeholders, we are today excited to be able to introduce not only new tomato and rice seeds, but, introduce advanced crop protection technology like Ampligo to fight serious pest like Tuta Absoluta. We believe this range of new agricultural technologies will really help in improving farmers ’productivity and income, and make a positive contribution towards Nigeria’s agricultural development,” Sharma said.

Originally posted here