INTERNATIONAL YOUTHDAY #CHATSHOW
The Management of the Agric club were honored to have a #chatshow with Don Adeniyi Olusola Bunmi* (pictured in the GoGreen banner above).
He Spoke too our members as we joined other youths to celebrate the International Youth Day, he highlighted a number of challenges and proffered solutions. He said one striking thing and I quote “agriculture accounts for two thirds of livelihoods and food accounts for two thirds of the household budgets of our people in Africa.”
He spent over two hours giving insights on the needs of agriculture in Africa today, the challenges, and opportunities.
BRIEF PROFILE: Adeniyi Sola Bunmi the current Nigeria Agro Ambassador is an Israeli trained Agribusiness Development/Value Chain Expert with passion for Agricultural Advocacy, and huge experience in Agribusiness advisory services, Founder and National coordinator of GoGreenAfricaInitiative (picture on top right corner), Chief Executive Officer, Natural Nutrient Limited, Executive Director, Mcube Global Connect Limited, Rector, Highhill Agribusiness Development and Incubation Centre (HABDEIC)** and currently the National President of Nigeria Association of Plantain and banana stakeholders.
Here’s a brief of the ChatShow.
Sola Bunmi Don Adeniyi:
A vibrant, sustainable and resilient agriculture sector is vital for sub-Saharan Africa's economic future. Indeed, African agriculture stands at the cusp of transformational change and farming is the primary source of food and income for Africans and provides up to 60 percent of all jobs on the continent. But unfortunately agriculture in Africa has always been operated as a developmental project instead of business. Apart from some few commercial agriculture which covers a relatively small share of crop production, the use of agricultural inputs - that is, improved seeds, inorganic fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides -- has been much lower in Africa than in other parts of the developing world. This has really leads to low productivity, With more than 60% of our 1.166 billion people living in rural areas, Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector.
However, agricultural productivity still remains far from developed world standards. Over 90% of agriculture depends on rainfall, with no artificial irrigation aid. The techniques used to cultivate the soil are still far behind from what has been adopted in Asia and Americas, like I said earlier we are lacking not only irrigation, but also fertilizers, pesticides and access to high-yield seeds. Agriculture in Africa also experiences basic infrastructural problems such as access to markets and financing.
Challenges facing Agriculture in Africa.
- 1. Use of modern inputs remains dismally low.
- 2. Seasonality continues to permeate rural livelihoods.
- 3. Land, labor and capital markets remain largely incomplete.
- 4. The majority of rural households are net food buyers.
- 5. Land is abundant but land markets are poorly developed.
- 6. Post-harvest losses are large.
- 7. Access to credit is limited.
8 Droughts dominate Africa’s risk environment.
- 9. Labor productivity in agriculture is low.
- 10. African farmers are increasingly diversifying their incomes.
- 11. Women perform the bulk of Africa’s agricultural tasks
- 13. The young are leaving agriculture
- 14. Household enterprises operate mainly in survival mode
Just to mention few
Potentials of Agriculture in Africa
The World Bank projects that agriculture and agribusiness in Africa will grow to be a US$1 trillion industry in Africa by 2030. But for us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, African countries need to support small scale farmers and young entrepreneurs by strengthening education and vocational training, building capacity for young people to self-organize, linking entrepreneurs to regional and global value chains, investing in infrastructure and technologies, and enabling access to finance.
Do you know that Africa has more than half of the world’s fertile yet unused land. Africa uses only two percent of its renewable water resources compared to the global average of five percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure. I remember my days is school. One of the definition I can never forget was the definition of entrepreneur. My lecturer defined Entrepreneur as someone that has an eagle eyes for opportunities. So for us youth to make anything out of this industry we must look deeply at our challenges and begin to turn our threat into opportunity.
The main drivers of demand for agricultural products are population growth, urbanisation, economic growth and changing diet. Africa is expected to double its population from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050, making it the fastest growing region in the world.
As an agroprenuer target the rich segments of the economy locate your fresh organic food and vegetables stores in the main centres, with high population density, relatively better infrastructure than the rest of the country and generally high income than the rest.
Invest is anything that has to do with value addition in the agricultural sector. For example I just launched a new products from sweet potatoes *** and it's already selling well here in Nigeria. So be creative.
Join in Advocacy.
For those that have passion for impacting others we are about to launch a GoGreenAfrica project a pan Africa campaign that encourages youth inclusion in agriculture.
Entrance Points for Youths and Investors
- 1. Supply of Farm Inputs. E.g seedlings, fertilizers, feeds, manure, insecticides, fumigation equipments, farming equipments, tractors, seed marketing, seed multiplication business, improved seedlings sales etc.
- 2. Production of crops. E.g vegetable farming, cucumber farming, carrot farming, bitter leaf farming, onion, tomatoes etc. Cashew plantation, oil palm plantation, plantain plantation, sugar cane plantations, cocoa plantations. Cassava, cotton, moringa, mango etc.
Also; Poultry, snail farming, Fish farming, rabbit, grass cutter, piggery, quail breeding etc
- 3. Processing (Products Processing).
From cashew nuts processing, cassava processing, oil palm processing (oil mills), rice processing (rice mills), ground nut processing (ground nut mills), garri processing, fruit juice concentrates (orange, mango, pineapple, watermelon, banana), livestock processing (frozen chicken), frozen snails etc. the list is endless.
- 4. Storage of Agric materials e.g. Ogbono, egusi, oil bean (ugba), African bread fruit (Ukwa), cashew, ginger, onion, corn, kola, millet, sesame seed, gum Arabic, hibiscus, garlic etc
- 5. Transport / Logistics.: For every farm produce, transportation is needed to convey inputs and products from store to farm and from the farm to the target market.
- 6. Marketing: You can make a huge income only marketing agricultural products; be it food or livestock.
- 7. Export Business. Loots of agric materials are needed by the international market examples include; Cashew nuts, cocoa, ginger, garlic, gum Arabic, sesame seed, hibiscus, pure honey etc.
- 8. Commodity Trading of agric materials i.e Purchase onions, tomatoes, beans, etc from the North at cheaper prices and transport down to south and sell at higher prices. And vice versa.
- 9. Agro – Consultancy: Like myself, with the right knowledge and experience, you can make a living, guiding people on how to go about their farm set ups, agribusiness, export, commodity trading and how to play in the agricultural sector.
Others include; warehousing, packaging, plantation management, equipment leasing, equipment sales and servicing. Etc.
Agribusiness is good business. But most people, especially young people jump into agriculture in Nigeria and other part of Africa, with the get-rich-quick mentality and attitude, thereby losing their capital. Agriculture and farming in Nigeria is not a holy grail.
As with every other good business, do your research, have a good plan, find a gap and a need to fill, be sure to have a startup capital, get good education and information on your chosen agricultural chain you wish to tap into and go for it.
Thank so much for your time
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