These four Nigerian agripreneurs are changing the face of farming.

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These four Nigerian agripreneurs are changing the face of farming.

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These four Nigerian agripreneurs are changing the face of farming.

Nigeria is facing a double unemployment crisis – a lack of jobs for youths and a fast-rising young population.

However, agriculture – the country’s largest sector of employment promises opportunities for job growth and economic prosperity. Despite this, many young people are abandoning the sector in search of very scarce white-collar jobs in urban centres.

But four young Nigerians – Bintu Nakudu, Opeyemi Adeniyi, Samson Ogbole and Rildwan Bello are bringing glamour to the sector and redefining farming in Africa’s most populous country.

The four agripreneurs are operating in a sector other young Nigerians find less attractive and fear to tread owing to the absence of technology and foundational problems limiting productivity across value chains.

Farming in Nigeria is not a walk in the park, insecurity prevalent in the agric sector has made many farmers abandon their farms for safety. This has led to a shortfall in the production of key staples, causing food prices to surge to record highs.

There is also a lack of sufficient funding in the sector, which makes it unattractive to young people as well as the absence of technology in the sector.

Against these odds, some young entrepreneurs are succeeding whereas others fail to tread. On this note, BusinessDay has identified four young people making strides in the sector despite its many limitations.

Bintu Nakudu

Bintu Nakudu, managing director of Majestik Farms, is building one of Nigeria’s most modern, eco-friendly farms using tech to make farming easy.

The farm located in Kano state has over 45,000 birds and more than 10,000 catfishes. It operates with fully automated technologies and boasts an output of 1,000 crates of eggs per day. It also produces over 280 bags of locally produced chicken and fish feed daily.

Operations in Majestik Farms are powered by solar to control greenhouse emissions for the safety of the birds and animals on the farm. As part of that measure, all bi-products in the farm are recycled and used as manures for the crop part of the farm.

An entrepreneur to the core, she produces her own poultry and fish feeds to reduce the farm’s reliance on external sources, hence promoting local sourcing.

With a monthly egg production of about 300,000 crates per month, the farm contributes to Nigeria’s food ecosystem. It also has a capacity of 30,000 hectares of land for cat and tilapia fish farming.

Nakudu says she aims to build a farm beyond an agriculture venture, but one that aims to create sustainability, innovation and empower young women.

Aside from building a successful farm, Nakudu has a chef certification from Harvard University. She engages in culinary classes in Nigeria where she teaches the art of cooking to interested students.

Opeyemi Adeniyi

Opeyemi Adeniyi is the farm manager of Courage Farms and Agro, a fish, piggery and agro farm located in Ibadan, Oyo State.Related News

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Adeniyi took over the farm from her father after he died in 2022 and has been able to lead the farm into becoming a commodity exporter of smoked catfish to the United Kingdom and the United States.

The farm rears over 6,000 fish in earthen ponds and has been able to withstand erosion, and high feed costs affecting its smooth administration. It also boasts of monthly sales of over 100 fish locally.

Although she says government intervention will encourage more young people into the sector, Adeniyi has plans to make Courage Farms and Agro an international brand.

Adeniyi combines her job as a farmer with her job in the fashion design industry.

Samson Ogbole

Samson Ogbole is the team lead of Eupepia Place Limited, popularly known as Soilless Farm Lab, located in Ogun State.

He runs a 300-acre farmland where he uses technology as an enabler for agriculture. Ogbole grows different vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, and pawpaw, among others, through greenhouse technology and alternatives to loamy soil.

Ogbole grows different species of hybrid soilless crops with coconut shafts, water and air. He has also trained over 1000 students on farming and farm management.

He is a graduate of Biochemistry from Igbenedion University. His passion for Nigeria’s agricultural space led him to research ways technology can be adopted into farming while producing high yields.

The farm has 37 tonnes of cold room capacity used to store commodities before delivery and is a distributor to local sellers.

For Ogbole, farming goes beyond food production, it is a means of job creation, national development as well as sustainable development.

Rildwan Bello

Rildwan Bello is building a growing consulting and research start-up called Vestance that helps small and medium-scale farmers and governmental bodies make better agric decisions that benefit both farmers and investors.

He is the founder and managing director of the firm, an agribusiness located in Lagos and specialises in training struggling Nigerian farmers on how to access agricultural grants, and farm management skills.

Passionate to see growth in the sector, Bello started Vestance in 2023 and has trained over 60 farmers on farm management, bookkeeping, and business proposals needed to access agric grants.

Bello has on his team top professionals responsible for conducting in-depth research on the agribusiness sector, helping many small and medium-scale farmers in the country make better yields and incomes.

He says his goal is to see that grants are made accessible to farmers and that they also become vast in agricultural knowledge.

source: businessday.ng

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