Well its 12th August, 2016 and today been the International youth day, i decided to reflect on the Nigerian Youth and their get rich quick farming mentality. Everyone wants to become a cucumber farmer, now everyone wants to go into tomato farming, soon they will all rush into another quick returns agribusiness venture, even considering doing 2 acres of farm when they have never planted a mustard seed in their backyard, doing all this without any practical knowledge or training but ALL based on what some internet marketer put up in some e-book or what some mathematician cooked up in one corner of their one room and put on the internet…#shame!
Several practical farmers creates opportunities for Youths to learn, rather what the youth does is get a land somewhere then after planting they start bombarding you with calls and of course you try to help a brother or sister by teaching them on phone and when this doesn’t work, they either fail or partly succeeds below their expectations! We need to reset our mindset from the “default settings” of get rich quick farming…there is no such thing as get rich quick Agribusiness, if you want to ever make money and I mean real money, not the one you make money accidentally once and lose the remaining times…you have to learn from experienced farmers, you have to start small and finally and most importantly you NEED money.
I once got a funny call by a youth who wanted to do 1 acre of ugu farm with another on a land near a water source, so when i asked them their plan for irrigation they said hand watering…hand what? you need at least 5 people to water 1 acre of Ugu very well everyday, can you afford 10k per week for watering? They said No…can you afford 4000 seeds of ugu, even at #25 naira/seed then they said No! we don’t have money. Then why do you want to go into Ugu farming when you neither have money or knowledge/ they reminded me they wanted to make quick money in the dry season. Then, I told them the bitter truth: You need to learn from a practical ugu farmer and start a farm you can afford…if you were the one who called that day, hope you heeded that advise? Please let me know privately!
I hope this write up touches someone, a Nigerian youth to think, i mean “use their head well”, Agribusiness is not a get-rich-quick scheme please, do yourself a favour as you read this don’t ever invest your savings with the hope to make quick returns without applying the steps below.
To succeed in Agribusiness as a young person is possible however you must do the following:
(1) Change your mindset from “Get Rich Quick from Farming” to “Get Rich from Farming Smart.”
(2) Learn from a practical farmer, learn everything o…from production to Post Harvest Management and Marketing!(even if it takes you up to a year, after all some youth spent several years to be called a University graduate)
(3) After learning from a farmer, select an area in the agribusiness value chain of the crop(s) you you learnt that you wnt to go into: Production, Processing, Post Harvest Management, Strategic Marketing.
(4) Having done the above, you get to work and you need money to work but ONLY source from family and friends first, don’t look for bank loan or wait for any government!
(5) This first test is called your prototype, keep notes and learn from this test. You might fail on this one but NEVER give up, note down the mistakes, restart and make sure you perfect the ideas, making sure you never repeat the same mistakes again!
(6) based on the lessons you have learned both from the farmer and your prototype, launch a product!
Now I challenge a young person reading this to follow this steps and by this time next year you will share your testimony! You may choose to read and pass or read and implement…the choice is yours #IYD2016