Gone are the days when images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm readily come to mind at the mention of agriculture. The rate of Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness has always been on the rise and would continue to be so. We should not end up in the situation of you don’t know what you have until you lose it. It’s high time we began to harness what we have been blessed with. Foreign involvement should be a collaboration not to hand over our natural resources that we should utilise to sustain our nation. We need to be actively involved and committed to the control of our lands for agriculture.
A large proportion of Africa’s agricultural land is located in the rural or remote areas. That’s why they’re often cheap to buy or lease. This makes it one of the best land bargains you can find anywhere in the world!
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider a business in agriculture:
1. Asides the readily available lands across the country to cultivate in, Nigeria has a ready market and high demand for agricultural produce. Food never goes out of fashion and guess what? People must eat everyday! A huge part of Nigeria’s population comprising majorly the middle class and the poor would go out to get affordable local farm produce rather than settling for expensive imported or processed foods. As a result the demand for farm produce is high. With the teeming population, the demand for food will continue to increase.
Nigeria has a huge population of over 200 million people. The entire population of Nigeria depends on staple foods produced from farms and other farm produces for their daily meals and sustenance. More than 80 percent of Nigerians buy their farm produce from the market. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the importation of foodstuffs and the other items in the first half of 2019 increased by 47% when compared with the corresponding period of 2018. Specifically, in the first half-year of 2018, the importation of prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits and vinegar and tobacco was put at N227.1 billion while the figure rose to N334.3 billion in half-year 2019.
Nigeria still spends billions of naira on importation of finished foods which can be produced locally. There is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs who can provide cheaper and locally-grown alternatives to the food that Nigeria imports.
It’s not just the food industry that depends on agribusiness. Several other industries, especially the manufacturing and processing industries, depend on agribusiness for a wide range of raw materials. As Africa’s economies continue to grow, the demand for raw materials will surely increase and create more interesting opportunities for agribusiness on the continent.
2. One beautiful thing about agribusiness is that it is very scalable. You can start with what you have. Whether you own one plot of land or 10,000 hectares, agribusiness is one of few business opportunities that allow you to start on any scale, big or small.
With very little capital, you can become a part of Africa’s multi-billion dollar agribusiness industry. This is because there is a guaranteed demand for agricultural produce. You can have a small vegetable farm in your backyard today that could yield into a huge business tomorrow.
Apart from startup capital, you don’t have to be a highly-educated person to start a business in agriculture in Nigeria. You can start where you are and use what you have, and grow from there. You can also start agriculture or farming on a part-time basis with your day job. This means everyone can start an agribusiness!
3. Agribusiness has a way of creating job opportunities for the population. Agribusiness is one of the most effective ways to create jobs and empower millions of Nigetians. The way agribusiness is set up allows for this. From food production, processing and marketing provide huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
So, if you’re looking to start a business or invest in an industry that makes a significant social impact, provides jobs and creates sustainable wealth, agribusiness is surely the way to go!
4. The COVID-19 pandemic indeed opened our eyes to some realities. Due to the crisis, there has been an unprecedented disruption in global supply chains, sharp reduction in the global prices of crude oil and turmoil in global financial markets. This in turn, means that reliance on one source of Foreign exchange.
When it’s time for Nigeria to attain its full capacity utilization in agriculture, farming will become a great foreign currency earner more than the oil. The implication is that Nigerian farmers will be able to earn in Naira and Dollars as well as other foreign currencies.
5. You will feel the benefits. Not only are there financial benefits to farming, but there are other, perhaps less tangible benefits too. There is the sense of achievement when your hard work bears fruit (perhaps literally), and there is the satisfaction in knowing that you are giving something back to the environment, to the people. There are also the expected health benefits from being in the great outdoors, so this is one business that is both good for your body and mind.
WANT TO KNOW MORE BEFORE YOU START THAT BUSINESS IN AGRICULTURE?
Join us tomorrow, 16th, June, 2020 at 5PM Nigerian Time for a captivating Live session with Joy Adewuyi of Futurefood on our Instagram page @smartpreneur.ng