Things You Need To Have Before You Venture Into Any Kind Of Farming

Lucrativeness of farming has been promoted by several bloggers, newspapers and “Agribusiness Consultants”, so much that everyone, young and old, rich and poor, men and women are trooping towards it, in many cases blindly. This interest in farming is a good sign, but the concerns of what really drives young people towards farming remain. Below are 5 things to posses before going all out on agriculture in order to reap the much mentioned success in the sector.

1. Information/knowledge. How much knowledge about farming do you possess. Like any other profession, farming requires expertise, in fact it requires a great deal of expertise because of the dynamic aspects of agriculture. Information such as weather patterns, what crop to farm on what soil and when and how do one get the best market, are very important. If you are truly keen on going into farming, roll up your sleeves and learn first.

2. Passion. How much do you want to farm? What motivates you to become a farmer. Many young people are lured into the trade with the glossy stories of success in the media without acknowledging the potentially disastrous risks involved. If you are not so much into it, the returns wont be too much into you either. Without passion, you may totally lose interest and miss out of the opportunities in the Agribusiness sector after a first failed attempt.

3. Capital. Young people interested in farming encounter their first hurdle in terms of capital. This is normal. Remedy for this can be found in the many agricultural support loans being given out by organizations, banks and even the government. The most important thing is the information on how to access these financial services. However, I personally advise you make some money first from other sectors before venturing into farming, or if you have friends and family who will be ready to invest in you and your dreams then you are good to go!

4. Total Commitment. There is a new crop of young farmers who engage in farming “via proxy”, mobile phone farming or absentee farming. From my personal experience, this does not work at all. Even if you have a good farm manager, there a number of things that will go wrong without your actual presence. For greater rewards in farming, you need to be on site. If you are very busy, I advise you start out a small farm near your house, even on concrete floors you can grow in bags or plastic containers.

5. Persistence. You are more likely to be disappointed by your farm in the beginning. This is called the learning period and giving up should not be an option. Wrap the failures under the folder of experience and use it to become better. It is important to expect misfortunes and be ready for them. Just remember NEVER give up, even if you fail several times in your farming attempt despite receiving previous training know one thing…you are building yourself up for greater things, when other farmers see dangers you will see opportunities, those periods you will be the only one taking to the market and make good profit.

Posted in Agri-Innovation, Agribusiness, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Africa: The Mastercard Foundation Research Shows How African Youth Navigate Risk to Survive

PRESS RELEASE

Hundreds gather at the inaugural Young Africa Works Summit to address youth unemployment and opportunities within the agricultural sector

The MasterCard Foundation today released preliminary findings from innovative research conducted over the past six months into youth employment behaviours in Africa, where 600 million people are under the age of 25 and 72 percent of its youth live on less than US$2 per day. The Youth Livelihoods Diaries research highlights the extraordinary lengths that young people go to as they try to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

“There is a distinct lack of research into the daily lives of African youth as they seek secure, safe and better paid work,” said Ann Miles, Director of Programs, Financial Inclusion & Youth Livelihoods at the Foundation. “The agricultural sector is set to create eight million stable jobs by 2020 and up to 14 million if the sector is accelerated. We believe it has to feature prominently in development plans for the continent if we hope to achieve a prosperous future for young Africans.”

Solutions for accessing employment and micro-business opportunities within the agriculture value chain are a main topic at The MasterCard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Summit taking place in Cape Town on October 29-30.

This inaugural event is bringing together hundreds of experts, practitioners, young people and policymakers to discuss practical solutions to address youth unemployment on the continent. The Summit will explore strategies and solutions to enable young people to transition to more secure employment, focusing on the agricultural value chain as a prime source of opportunity. It will also provide a space to cultivate fresh ideas, partnerships and networks. More than 50 young people will be in attendance to share their perspectives in relation to employment or self-employment in this sector.

Preliminary findings of the Youth Livelihoods Diaries research project indicate that:

– Young people in Africa need to have multiple jobs to survive. Although many of them pursue various micro-business ideas, they often find themselves also having to work in agriculture (sometimes just for household consumption). This experience causes many not to consider agriculture as a viable profession.

– More than 50 percent of young people are able to save money. The majority are saving cash at home rather than using a bank account.

– Young people are increasingly using technology, particularly mobile phones. Although this provides new opportunities, it also presents costs.

– Information about jobs and skills acquisitions is seen as the greatest need for research participants.

In 2016, the Foundation will publish a comprehensive report that fully explores the data findings and patterns. To date, it has committed more than $US300 million to rural and agricultural initiatives that increase access to financial services and prepare young people for employment and/or entrepreneurship opportunities in Africa.

To follow the conversation at the Young Africa Works Summit, follow the Foundation on Twitter @MCFoundation and the event hashtag: #YAW2015. Summit materials can be found at http://www.youngafricaworks.org

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The MasterCard Foundation.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa.

As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visitwww.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation.

About The MasterCard Foundation’s Youth Livelihoods Program

The Youth Livelihoods Program seeks to improve the capacity of young men and women to transition to jobs or create businesses through a holistic approach which combines market-relevant skills training, mentorship and appropriate financial services. Through our partnerships, our program is supporting innovative models that help young people transition out of poverty and into stable livelihoods. Since 2010, the Foundation has committed $US291 million to 29 multi-year projects across 16 countries in Africa. More than 455,000 young people have been reached through the Youth Livelihoods program.

For more information, please contact:

Kristy Tomkinson

Communications Associate

The MasterCard Foundation

ktomkinson@mastercardfdn.org

+1-416-214-1426

Source: The MasterCard Foundation

Posted in Agribusiness, Young Farmers, Youth in Agriculture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Nigeria: Apply for the Master Class in Cucumber Farming Setup and Management October Edition

IMG-20150509-00919Enormous business opportunities abound in the horticulture area of the Agriculture value chain in Nigeria, enough to generate income and employment for several youths. However, most of these opportunities are not fully tapped. Hence, the widespread of youth unemployment and underemployment.

Against this background, Agritechnovate Solutions Entreprises – a duly registered Agricultural company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria with registration number: BN 2315112 and champion for Agribusiness among Youths designed the first ever human-centered Agribusiness Master Class on Cucumber Farming for Youths and everyone interested in Agriculture(whether they have ever been to a farm or not) to create on-farm and off-farm employment opportunities presenting a viable and formidable option to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

As have been severally said, Cucumber is just one crop that in recent times is having a great demand than supply in the market today and anywhere you grow cucumber you will have a ready market for it, so market is not the problem. The challenge lies in successfully producing cucumber profitably.

Hence this training is designed to assist several people from all walks of life, exposing them to the steps required in making profit as well as opportunities in the horticultural value chain in Nigeria.

At the end of the Master Class, participants should be able to:

  • Successfully Setup a Profitable Cucumber Farm.
  • Identify and tap into the various opportunities in the Horticulture value chain.
  • Effectively manage the challenges facing cucumber farming in any part of Nigeria.

Master Class Course Content:

  • Soil Testing and Management.
  • Assessment of Cucumber Farming viability and feasibility.
  • Sourcing and managing investment funds(Why you need a Bankable Business plan)
  • Branding, Packaging and Value Addition of Cucumbers.
  • Practical Guide to Setting up and Managing a Small Scale Cucumber Farm Profitably.
  • Post Harvest Management of Cucumber.
  • Why you have to fail to succeed (My Story).

Training Design: 

The training is designed in a human-centered model which will effectively benefit all in attendance hence we will have not more than 20 participants in this inaugural class. The 20 participants will further be divided into 2 streams of 3 hours each, morning (9am – 12pm) and (1pm to 4pm) evening class, 10 participants per stream.

After four weeks of training participants will be given a memory stick containing training materials, videos, texts and pictures of activities during the training.

Training Methods: 

Training is conducted in a Master Class Style, Students Practice what the Master instructs them and there is a home work every week to be done at home while reports in form of pictures and text and sent within the stipulated time frame. The participants are given training materials which will guide them during the practical class and in effectively doing the home works.

Venue:

Agritechnovate Teaching and Research farm,

Iganke Epale town,

Along Ikorodu-Epe Express Way,

Epe-Lagos State.

Dates:

4 Saturdays( 3rd, 10th , 24th and 31st October, 2015).

 Training Fee(NGN 25,000):

Registration and Evaluation Fee: NGN 5,000

Master Class Fee: NGN 20,000

Ideal Participant:

Participants should have an interest in farming and Agriculture and should have a small space(as small as 2m x 10m) near their homes to practice during the period of the Master Class.

About the Master Trainer:

 The Master Trainer is an International Agribusiness consultant, consulting for top-notch Agribusiness organisations across the world from Ergo Research in the USA to the Association of African Business Schools Agribusiness Consortium, South Africa – Kalu also has extensive experience in growing Cucumber having grown in various conditions in different locations in the past 9 months. Having failed severally, he knows what it takes to succeed…perseverance and doing it rightly from the beginning.

Kalu is a graduate of the foremost Business Certification in the prestigious University of Maryland, USA where he bagged a Certificate in Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business – a course he completed in July, 2015. As a Graduate of Soil Science from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, getting his hand dirty has turned from a hubby to a profitable business and he intends to train as many people as possible, exposing them to the untapped potential in the Agri-food sector.

Application is on first come first serve basis, once we meet our quota, we will move the rest to the next class.

APPLY HERE

After Applying, Make Payment on or before Friday 25th September 2015 to this account:
Bank: Skye Bank
Account Name: Agritechnovate Solutions Enterprises
Account Number: 4110027406

After payment, send an email to samuel.kalu(at)agritechnovate.com in this format:

Full Name:
Depositors’ Name:
Phone No:
Location:
Gender:

“Until we practice Agriculture as a business venture, a profitable one at that…we wIll always have poor farmers” – Kalu Samuel

Posted in Agri-Innovation, Agribusiness, Opportunities, urban farming, Youth in Agriculture | 1 Comment

Sign Up ForThe August Agric-Tour To Songhai Farms

Sign Up ForThe August Agric-Tour To Songhai Farms.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Apply: 2nd Farm2Market Vegetable Training in Ago Amodu, Saki – Oyo State

When you pay N25,000 for a month training, you automatically have:
1. Access to half acre of ploughable land to plant vegetable for a year free which will be allocated immediately after the one month training.
2. Accommodation of shared hotel room has been arranged for participant to stay for a month.
3. Seed will be given for you to pay at harvest.
4. You can only plant vegetables.
5. We will help to sell your vegetables if you follow the good agricultural practise that we will all learn during the training.
6. You must participate in vegetable training for minimum of a month.
7. No fertilizer will be given. We will teach on how to make your own organic fertilizer and you can easily buy the inorganic fertilizer and organic if you want.
8. You will pay for your tractor usage which isN3,000 per acre at the LGA. Trainee will take care of their farm labour.
9. You get to feed yourself throughout the period
10. You will take care of the farm land given to you but we will provide technical support throughout your planting period.
11. We take care of your accommodation for a month.
12. Alternative accommodation is been arranged for trainee to take care of themselves after the one month if they choose to stay.
13. We only have space for 30 trainee for the month of July.
14. Its on first pay first participating basis.
15. Participant should prepare for real farm work.

Training dates July 6th – July 31st
Where Ago Amodu Saki East LGA of Oyo State.
Contact no: 08064688501

Posted in Agribusiness, Opportunities, Youth in Agriculture | Leave a comment

Nigeria: Disease Ravages Tomato Farms, Causes Scarcity Nationwide

Abuja, Kano, Funtua, Lagos and Port Harcourt — Tomato production in the country has been severely hit by the outbreak of disease, leaving many farms devastated across the major producing states.

Tomato farms at the Kadawa Irrigation valley, which is the major producing area and demonstration farms designed to feed the Dangote’s Dansa Tomato Company in Kano State, have been damaged by disease.

Member representing the area at the National Assembly, Honourable Muktar Chiromawa, stated that although samples are not yet collected by experts, the diseases are suspected to be tuta absoluta.

Chiromawa said they are in touch with a South African company that produces the technology that can mitigate the disease.

The lawmaker, however, noted that the effect of the disease depended on the stage it affected the plant. He said it can occur during the nursery, which killed the plant or at the time the plant was producing fruits, which could affect the quality of the fruits and the yield.

John Okwudili Ene, a consultant, development horticulturist based in Abuja stressed that spider mites, tomato seed bora and a host of other tomato diseases could cause severe economic damage to farms.

He advised farmers to always fumigate their farms before planting to avoid that kind of scenario, adding that tomato could be prone to a lot of diseases, which demand farmers to take necessary action to forestall such eventualities.

Reports from major producing and consuming states showed that the situation was responsible for huge economic loss to farmers; and created huge demand and rise in prices of the commodity across the country.

Kano

Our correspondent in Kano who visited the Kadawa irrigation centre revealed that most of the irrigation sites were being cleared in preparation for the wet season farming.

It was also gathered from the farmers that most of their tomato farms were affected by what they referred to in Hausa as ‘Yana’.

According to one of the tomato farmers in Kadawa, Usman Isa, the strange disease attacked the tomato leaves, which resulted to stunted growth and affected yield, adding that “even though we do not usually engage in producing tomatoes during the wet season here, most of the tomatoes in Kano during the wet season come from Gombe and Zaria. Our dry season yield dropped drastically this year due to damage to our tomato farms, which affected our yield.

“This infection has also completely wiped away Dangote’s tomato demonstration farm situated here at Kadawa, and that has completely brought us into panic and believing that it is a sort of plague or something. What really baffles us is that we have not received any attention from the authorities,” lamented Isa.

Halliru Idris is a tomato seedling breeder who said that the disease attacked his tomato seedlings and nursery, adding that he made effort to stop it, as a seedling breeder, yet it defied all measures he had taken.

“Look at these seedlings, even if you are not a farmer you can tell that they are not alright. This is what has destroyed virtually all the tomato plantations here. I have received some scientists visiting from a private pesticide company who bought about five beds of tomato seedlings and are presently making a research on it,” said Idris.

An agronomist with Kano State Ministry for Local Government, Lawan Bashir, said the infection is probably that of spider mites, stressing that “spider mites are very little arachnids that are difficult to see without a magnifying glass unless they have multiplied so much as to be in colonies.

The mites feed on the plant’s sap, working from the bottom of the plant to the top, and on the underside of the plant’s leaves. There is no particular season in which the mites are more prevalent; they are active all year.

“When spider mites invade your tomato plants, they inflict small wounds on the plants that can eventually harm or kill them,” said Bashir.

It was gathered that, a basket of tomatoes currently sells at N12,000 to N15,000 as against N3,000 to N6,000 this period last year.

Katsina

Katsina State which is one of the major tomato producing states is also caught up by the disease as many tomato farmers in the state are devastated by the destruction caused on their farms.

Speaking with Daily Trust last Saturday at Dantankari, Mal Nasiru Dantankari explained how his three farms were completely destroyed by the worm attack within a short period of time.

“In less than a week I lost an estimated 1,000 baskets of tomato to the strange attack this year. The worm attack is very fast as it takes only two to three days to destroy an entire tomato farm no matter its size.

“Some farmers here invested about N2,000,000 each in the cultivation of tomatoes but at the end they could not harvest tomato worth N10,000,” Malam Nasiru said.

He further said that he has lost about N1,800,000 worth of tomatoes, adding that the pest attack made farmers in Dantankari to switch to grains as early as May, unlike in previous years when tomatoes can reach the first week of July.

 An agricultural expert who works with Katsina Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (KTARDA), Mal Abdulkareem Ibrahim, said the worm is a specie of army worms that destroy crops.

“‘Ebola or Sharon’ as farmers locally call it, the worm metamorphosed from butterfly or whitefly and it is a specie of army worms that feed on leaves, stems and fruits of vegetables and other crops, the attack of army worms resembles that of spider mite which also sucks the flesh of the tomato fruits,” Mal Ibrahim said.

He added that there is so far no defined remedy against the pest; the combination of two or more of Lara force, Magic, Caiman B, and Best Action can help in lessening the gravity of the pests’ attack especially at its initial stage.

Mal Abdulkareem further said when the worms invade a tomato farm, about 50 of the worms could be found in a single fruit making the inner flesh to become watery and smelly.

Lagos

Our correspondent in Lagos reports that the situation with tomato farms in Northern Nigeria has resulted in significant increase in price of the commodity in Lagos markets.

In an interview with Daily Trust in Lagos, a major dealer said that scarcity of the produce has hit many tomato markets.

A dealer at Ilefo market, Alhaji Sambo Idris, said ‘price of tomato has gone up in Lagos. He said one basket is sold for between N25,000 and N30, 000. This was what previously was sold for N5,000 – N6,000, he said, adding that “we thought the price will not exceed N10,000 but we are surprised when the price increased beyond our imagination.”

When contacted, the chairman of tomato dealers at Mile 2 Market, Alhaji Yahuza Alasan, said apart from insects that attacked farms in the North, lack of rain in the South has also contributed to the tomato price increase in Lagos.

Rivers

A market survey carried out by our correspondent in Port Harcourt indicated that a basket of tomatoes which cost N8,000 to N9,000 before, is now sold for N22,000 to N23,000. Four pieces of tomatoes go for N100 in the retail market.

Investigation by our correspondent further shows that the rise in the price of tomatoes was as a result of high demand across the country which has affected its supply.

Mr John Aduma, a tomato dealer in Port Harcourt told Daily Trust that the present scarcity of the commodity was as a result of shortfall in its supply. He said in all the farms that supply tomatoes across the country, it was only Pankshin and Rukuba in Plateau State that supplied the produce across the country.

He said other areas such as Gboko in Benue State where tomatoes are supplied did not grow any tomatoes because of weather and environmental factors.

He said: The “price of tomatoes is not very favourable to the dealers and consumers alike,” adding that “before now we used to buy one basket of tomatoes for N8,000 to N9,000; that was the time the tomato market in Pankshin, Rukuba and Gboko were supplying tomatoes to dealers across the country. But now it’s only in Pankshin that one gets tomato supply. Gboko and Rukuba tomato markets are not presently supplying tomatoes. All the tomatoes that are presently in the market are from Pankshin and this is the reason for the increase in the price.”

Anduma said that they buy a basket of tomatoes for N19,000 to N20,000 which are resold for between N22, 000 to N23, 000.

Bayelsa

In Bayelsa State, a basket of tomatoes cost N25,000. In weeks to come, dealers in the state expect the price of the product to normalize at N8,000. That will be when the Gboko tomato market will resume in full force.

Different varieties of tomatoes are also responding to the scarcity. A UTC tomato variety is usually very expensive when it’s in the market. UTC tomato seed is sold for N22,000 while that of Syria goes for N18,000. UTC seed has a longer life span and durability than that of Syria. UTC tomato seed can last up to one week without rotting away while the Syria seed does not last more than three days.

Many sellers said the high cost of tomatoes is affecting their businesses, adding that they find it very difficult to sell their products because the final consumers find it difficult to buy at the high cost. They however expressed optimism that the price of the commodity will come down in coming weeks.

Abuja

In Abuja, the federal capital, our reporters who visited various markets in Wuse, Utako, Garki and Kubwa discovered that there was acute shortage of the commodity, which has made affordability difficult for the residents of the FCT.

A standard basket, which until now sold for N800, currently goes for N17,000 to N22,000 making it extremely difficult for consumers to purchase.

Vincent A. Yusuf, Ahmed Dio Agbo, Mustapha Suleiman, Ibrahim Musa Giginyu, Idris Mahmud, Abubakar Haruna & Victor Edozie 

Source: Daily Trust

Posted in Agribusiness, Agric News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Apply to be part of the Social Reporting Team for the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week in Fiji!

Pacific Agritourism Week banner - ARDYIS.png
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) is hosting the Pacific Community Agritourism Week from 29th June to 3rd July 2015 in Nadi, Fiji to promote opportunities for Pacific Agrifood sector in tourism-related markets.

The objective is to strengthen the link between the two important sectors – agriculture and tourism – and promote trade for poverty alleviation in Pacific communities. The major activities for the week include a Pacific regional farmer technical exchange and networking with Caribbean counterparts to share knowledge and experiences working with the tourism sector; a niche agrifood display of value-added products, and technical exchange and learning forums aimed at building the capacity of farmers, chefs, policy makers and the private sector on tourist-related markets.

This event is jointly funded through CTA and the Intra-ACP EU-funded Pacific Agricultural Policy Project (PAPP). The week will also coincide with a six-monthly meeting of the PAPP Steering Committee consisting representatives of 14 Pacific ACP countries and Timor-Leste.

Social reporting for the Pacific Community Agritourism Week

CTA (through the ARDYIS Project) in collaboration with SPC is supporting a team of young social reporters to attend and report on the event throughout the week. The objective of social media reporters is to raise awareness on the event, engage on-site participants and reach out to a wider audience remotely.
The social reporting team is composed of 2 sub-teams; on-site social reporters and online social reporters.
On-site social reporters

8 young social reporters from the Pacific will be selected to participate in the Pacific Community Agritourism week, attend a two-day training workshop on the use of digital media for social reporting and provide social media coverage during the week. The training workshop will be from 27th to 28th June. All CTA and SPC funded social media reporters will be given an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and training on the use of social media.

At the end of the event, the social reporters will be awarded a certificate. Among the 8 on-site reporters, 5 will be from the Pacific Region and 3 will be from Fiji.

Online social reporters

Other interested social media enthusiasts who are not from the Pacific, but interested to report on the event can join the larger social reporting team that will participate and contribute remotely (online) to the outreach of the event.

Social reporting for the Pacific Community Agritourism Week is a voluntary task. However, CTA and SPC will be covering the cost of travel, accommodation, food and daily subsistence allowances for the 8 selected on-site social reporters. This opportunity forms part of both CTA’s and SPC’s strategy to support the youth by involving them in its activities and building their capacity.

Selection criteria for social reporters

On-site Reporters:

  • Be a National of a Pacific ACP country (* See below, list of Pacific ACP countries);
  • Be aged between 18 and 35 years;
  • Be involved in agriculture, agribusiness, agritourism, information and communication, knowledge management or related fields;
  • Proven basic skills in the use of social media for reporting;
  • Be competent in the use of English language;
  • Be a good communicator and commit to contribute actively to the Social Reporting Team before and during the Agritourism Week;
  • Be in position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training and the Agri-Tourism Week;
  • Available to attend the social reporting training workshop and the Pacific Community Agritourism Week in Fiji from 27 June – 03 July 2015;
  • Be in possession of a passport with a validity date at least six months beyond the Agri-Tourism Week (at least until January 2016). Note: This criterion is not applicable to Nationals of Fiji

Note: Selected participants should have their own laptop and at least a camera (or mobile phone with built-in camera)


Online Reporters

  • There is no restriction on the age and country for remote social reporters
  • Being part of the team will provide various networking and capacity building opportunities.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying, please complete this online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/application-Pacific-SR

Note: All candidates interested in being part of the social reporting team (both on-site and online) have to complete the application form.

Please submit your application by 14 June, 2015 (23:59 CEST)

The 8 selected social reporters will be notified by 16 June 2015 receiving a confirmation letter. The other applicants will also be notified about the outcome of their application and informed about the modalities to contribute to the social reporting team remotely.

Contact

This activity is coordinated by CTA (through the ARDYIS Project) and SPC. Further information or clarification can be directed by email to the ARDYIS project team at ardyis-project@cta.int with “Pacific Community AgriTourism Week 2015 Social Reporting” as subject line. Should you have any further regarding the Pacific Community Agritourism week, please contact Ms Anju Mangal – anjum@spc.int

List of Pacific ACP Countries

Cook Islands – Fiji – Kiribati – Marshall Islands – Federated States of Micronesia – Nauru – Niue – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands – Samoa – Tonga – Tuvalu – Vanuatu.
Download this announcement in PDF version: Call for social reporters

Posted in Agribusiness, Agric News, Opportunities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ghana: Apply for the Agribusiness Management Programme stream 3 (AgMP III)

The third stream of the Agribusiness management programme (AgMP 3) would begin in Ghana on 24th August, 2015, this is an opportunity for you to get high quality Agribusiness education. Are you in Ghana or do you know any one who might need this ? Do you or anyone you know have the following qualities of the ideal candidate?

Download Application form here

Posted in Agribusiness, Agric News, Opportunities | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Agriculture Must Be Treated As A Business – Buhari

In order to accelerate the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector and ensure food security, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that agriculture must be treated as a business.

The president stated this in Calabar yesterday while declaring open the 55th annual general meeting of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Buhari who was represented by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals, Alhaji Baba-Umar Farouk, also advocated the active participation of the private sector towards developing agriculture in Nigeria.

He challenged participants at the conference to come up with useful recommendations that will advance Nigeria’s agricultural sector at the end of their deliberations.

The president said “Nigeria has huge agricultural potential with over 84 million hectares of arable land of which only 40 per cent is currently cultivated. The country has some of the richest natural resources for agricultural production in the world. The urgency of unlocking our agricultural potential is even more pertinent because Africa spends $35billion annually for food import. Agriculture must cease from being treated as development programme; agriculture must henceforth be treated as a business.”

Meanwhile, a researcher in Agricultural Science, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, has advocated greater participation of women and Nigerian youths in agribusiness in Nigeria.

Delivering his keynote address at the occasion, Akinbamijo, who is the executive director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), said the women in particular play a critical role in agricultural development in Nigeria.
According to him, “Women already contribute significantly to the development of households, communities and nation.

“They are the pillars of economic growth and development considering their predominant role in agriculture which is the backbone of most African economies.

“Hence, the need for NACCIMA to deliberately engage and support opportunities in Agribusiness that offers equal participation and benefits to women and youths moving forward”.

The occasion attracted Cross River State deputy governor, Prof Ivara Esu, seven past presidents of NACCIMA among other dignitaries and delegates across the nation.

Source: Leadership Newspaper

Posted in Agribusiness, Agric News | Leave a comment

Meet Young Cucumber Farmer Who Makes N2m In Three Months

• Govt Needs To Revisit Policies On Importation of Seeds — Ezirim Ezirim-2-Copy

IN Nigeria, it is unusual to use farming in the same sentence with youths. The grueling crudeness of farm work, man-hour and patience required to harvest the fruits of farming are not just unattractive, they have, over the years, driven young people out of farms and villages.

Instead, the finesse of white-collar affluence, allure of fast-cars and crispness of fast-money, have worked together to present the sky-scraper-saturated cities as the destination for fortunes, opportunities and the good life to the young school leaver.

Running against this trend, Imo State-based agribusinessman, Jasper Chidera Ezirim, in his mid-twenties, has decided to build his wealth on this forgotten cornerstone — agriculture.

Through organic farming, he is leading a revolution in wealth creation, with a resolve to use agriculture as a tool to dislodge Aliko Dangote as the richest black man.

In an interview with The Guardian, recently, Ezirim, who started his agribusiness formally in 2011, said that he wants to prove to fellow youths that agriculture was and still is a goldmine.

He runs a cluster of vegetable farms with 20 staff and consults for smallholder farmers, deploying his expertise and a degree in economics to manage a business he believes is more important to the Nigerian economy than the oil and gas sector.

The love for agriculture runs in his family as both his paternal and maternal parents were farmers. Having been exposed to the practice at a young age, Ezirim proposed to build a life around farming, only he would do so by getting the right information through formal education.

He said: “My paternal grandmother was more of a yam and cassava farmer. She had goats and chickens, too. I spent a lot of time with my grandmothers, especially during school holidays. I think that’s when I began to fall in love with agriculture. I could play with those goats for hours as a kid.

“My maternal grandmother had goats and chickens. She had an orchard beside the house and a vegetable farm at the backyard. She was the type that whenever she visits your place and tastes a good flavour in the food you served her, she could ask for the pepper, tomato and others. She would take the seed home, dry and plant at the backyard. You can practically cook a soup in her house without visiting the market.”

He said as he grew older, he discovered that love and passion was not enough to attain success in agriculture, one needed to appreciate and believe that it can be a profitable and sustainable business, in both short long term basis.

“I think that appreciation came when my dad passed away, and my mum got into full-time agriculture. She was able to open my eyes to its profitability. I saw what I needed to or not do, to make it in agribusiness,” he said.

However, his journey to gain formal education was littered with thorns, as he attended three universities in Nigeria, seeking information that would transform his dreams to reality. After several disappointments in the country, he bagged a degree in economics from a university in Benin Republic.

When asked about the response of his peers and elders, when he decided to go into agriculture, he said it was not too difficult a choice because he was known to be stubborn with decisions, especially ones he is passionate about. He said some people protested. Stressing that his love for agriculture was deep and contagious, he beams with pride that his efforts paid off.

According to him, “It (the choice) was not that difficult, because I never really kept friends. Although, few people that knew really about it wanted to bite me (Laughs). But it was not that difficult. I mean, if you sit down with me for a few minutes, you will want to quit your job and go into agriculture.

“People were skeptical about it, at first, but because I was notoriously stubborn, they didn’t bother talking me out of it. They were 100 per cent sure I won’t listen. So why waste time and energy? I am just happy that my decision has gradually been justified.”

Ezirim works closely with technical partners from Thailand, who, he said, have been instrumental to the success he has recorded. He explained that he deploys their methods in his operations, especially in handling exotic vegetables in his farms, noting that the methods he applies have made it possible to grow exotic vegetables in Eastern Nigeria, a terrain, which many people erroneously believe is unwelcoming to such products.

“A lot of people know me as the ‘Thai farmer’,” he said, jokingly, adding: “I had the opportunity to visit and learn from some Thai farmers, which have given me the privilege to establish a partnership with the Thai Agro Group.

“I practically use Thai technology in my farm and believe in their philosophies, which has been part of the building points that has stabilised their economy as a farming nation. So, it has been a privilege learning and working with the Thais. There has been a common belief among my people in the south that exotic vegetables only grow in the north. I am determined to expose to that as an absolute lie.”

“If done well, this venture produces over 300 per cent Return On Investment (ROI) annually. The major problem has been doing it well, which is using minimum input to get maximum output. That’s where the Thai guys come in. They have trained and equipped me enough for that,” he continued.

He said that, from his experience, making millions as a farmer is easy and can be done in a short time, stressing that all that is needed is, at least, a hectare of land and any of the good vegetables.

On the prospects from his farm, he revealed: “A farm like mine costs about N600,000 per hectare. If one is planting cucumbers, from a hectare, you should make nothing less than N2 million in three months.

That is if it is done right. It has been achieved by a lot of people I have consulted for here in Nigeria. It boils down to understanding what to do.

I and my team, at a time, were able to make a net profit of N1million on cucumber in 2 months planting the cu999 variety sold by Thai Agro. To be honest, it was not an easy task, but we were able to pull it off.”

However, he said a major headache has been the attitude of workers he had to work with, decrying the fact that youths complain about unemployment but cannot deliver on the little responsibilities thrown at them and are lacking in qualities such as faithfulness, commitment, trustworthiness and motivation to work.

Source: The Guardian

Posted in Agribusiness, Agric News, Youth in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment