Olawale OJO is a young professional in Agriculture and Agribusiness. He is a strong believer in the empowerment of young people by engaging them in agribusiness He has received relevant training to make him a professional in his field . Olawale as a writer too, has had his very insightful and informative articles published in the Nigeria Newspapers, blogs and also granted both radio and television interviews on issues relating to youth, agriculture and agribusiness.
Friday, January 11, 2013
6 WAYS TO A RIGHT START IN AGRIBUSINESS IN 2013.
As we step into the year
2013, a lot of indications at the last quarter cum earlier activity of 2012 shows
that serious attention would be drawn to agriculture, with a business unusual dimension
for the sector. What this means is that agriculture would no longer be seen as
mere farming- a laborious venture with lot of waiting period for benefits to be
gotten but rather as a business, a source of employment for the youths, a
source of livelihood and most importantly (especially to me) a sector that
young people would begin to find desirous and attractive and lucrative.
To succeed as young people- agric entrepreneurs, it is important that we are armed with not only the relevant
information, right and appropriate skills to thrive but have a strong desire
and see the attractive but BIG
picture in Agriculture, Food Supply Chain, Food Safety etc. Here are a few tips
i have decided to share with all the young people out there that desire to go
into any part of Agriculture cum Agribusiness or that are already into it.
Business Plan Ready: Funding and grant competitions and
opportunities would open up in 2013. One of the basic requirements is that you MUST have a business plan. It is
important that you have one ready at all times. Like my friend Allavi Elorm of
Syecomp Business Services in Ghana said “Make sure your business plan is handy
and accessible in both soft and hard copies”. You just have to be ready when
the opportunity comes knocking at the door. Be it a competition or the
opportunity to pitch your plan before potential clients or investors.
on the Skills and Knowledge (of your friends and associates): Involve
trusted friends (vision or dream builders) in our endeavour. The world we live
in is blessed with very blessed individuals and this offers us a win-win
environment. Be willing to ask for help from friends who would be ready to do
some tasks for you at no cost or a cheaper one. Let us take this as a typical
example, do you need to do graphic design works for branding of your agro firm
why not talk to a friend who has got expertise in graphic design. Often times,
such ones are willing to do it for free or at a comfortable discount. BUT never take the help or discount for
and Join the right support Organisations: Trust me, been part
of he right networks and organisations either online or offline makes it
possible to gain access to information and resources needed. A few examples are
Young Professionals’ platform for Agricultural
Research for Development(YPARD), Harambe
Nigeria, Global Youth Innovation Network
(GYIN), National Association of Small Scale
Industrialist (NASSI) to mention a few. Like the
pages and join groups on social networks that relates to agriculture. All these
organisations or networks have products, resources, seminars, workshops and other
opportunity openings that young agro entrepreneurs need from time to time.
not Joke with Farmers’ Organisation: Interestingly, government,
research institutions, organisation, banks etc. both local and international
desire always to align with groups of farmers rather than individuals. So
ensure that you are part of a farmers’ organisation or cooperative at the very
least. In Nigeria for example, the government recognises the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)
and they are found in every state of the federation. So make out time and join
one. What more, interacting with fellow farmers and agro allied service
providers helps in understanding the terrain and create synergy to tackle
common problems and challenges.
Information Hungry: it is often said that “knowledge is
Power”. As young people (with a so much passion,
desire that finds Agriculture attractive),
we need to be HUNGRY for relevant
and credible information and resources. Sometimes this information opens up
tips, opportunities and a large array of doors and networks that would be helpful.
This brings me to the Power of the Social Media Networks.
Merely following the research bodies like CGIAR, FARA, CIMMIT on twitter
connects you to lot of information that would be invaluable.
in Personal Development and Training: Everyday new
findings and results are revealed or unravelled through researches. More
knowledge is provided about value chains and investment opportunities for
entrepreneurs in the sector. As young entrepreneurs it is important that you
get the right trainings through workshops, conferences and specialised training
classes. Sometimes you have to pay for them. It could be a new method of
cropping or livestock management or even soft skills and business management
training. All these makes us fit for the sector and ready to excel.
Join the revolution of Young Agroprenuers, our Nation
waits on us to turn things around. This
is real business. Follow these tips and some more you may have gathered on
your own and be sure of success. See you all at the top.