My name is Abimbola Bolaji Oyeniyi, a native of Kwara state and a resident of the state capital Ilorin, in my home country Nigeria. I am 18 years old and a pre-clinical student of the College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
I am from a humble background. I was born in the city but trace my origins to a village, Okeso, where agriculture is practiced in its entirety. I grew up in my community and this early exposure to agriculture is undoubtedly the reason why I am now uncompromisingly passionate about agriculture even as a medical student. I am highly desirous to become an entrepreneur in agriculture, pursue my passion and create value in a way that inspires my generation.
My project revolves around agriculture with an emphasis on a livestock feed milling model. This initiative is all about the manufacturing of quality and affordable livestock feed for small farm owners using unconventional raw materials that are less expensive for feed production.
At the same time, we are providing an alternative to milling services for other small farm owners who cannot afford the always expensive commercial livestock feed, but are willing to produce their own feed using the available raw materials in our factory.
My approach is a combination of ideas where numerous unconventional raw materials are used to generate low-cost and culturally suitable livestock feed. This model is financially sustainable and rewarding because we are already generating funds from direct sales of our products and services since commencing operations in mid-2015.
This initiative was born out of the desire to create a difference as an entrepreneur given the peculiarities of the Nigerian domestic economy, which is shifting its attention from oil to agriculture. More importantly, a large percentage of the small livestock farm owners are not knowledgeable enough to make use of the unconventional raw materials at hand to generate quality feed for their animals and/or to get access to low-cost feed products to boost their production in this part of the globe.
It is, however, a known fact all over the world that small farm owners contribute greatly to the development of an economy, particularly a developing economy like that of Nigeria. This is the main reason why this initiative centers absolutely on small- and medium-scale livestock farmers.
The potential gains of this initiative are enormous, as it span between contributing to the development of agriculture in our domestic economy here in Nigeria, to creating jobs and a means of livelihood, to improving food security, to rural development, to encouraging sustainability and much more.
The impact of the project on its own is currently fantastic and very promising because, apart from creating jobs, it has generally increased the quality of life, reduced malnutrition, raised the income level of our customers and vendors and has increased trade activities in this neighborhood, among other things.
Currently, as an undergraduate I enjoy scholarships from two non-governmental organizations and thus have been a scholar for the past three years. The savings I have realized from the scholarships, along with those received from family and friends, formed the basis of this initiative and boosted my entrepreneurial potential.
Having diagnosed the problem facing small-scale livestock farmers, I conceived the idea in 2015 and received mentorship support from Mr. Adekola Olusola A., an animal nutritionist and farm management consultant who has greatly assisted and guided me at every point.
In an attempt to create a difference, I took the giant stride of constructing a temporary structure as a factory on a leased piece of land, procuring the equipment and machines for the operation and employing poor but competent young community members. These employees were trained by experts to handle machines and operate them to produce affordable products for the benefit of upcoming farming generations.
Workers were recruited from among the unemployed youth population. Suppliers of these unconventional raw materials were identified and we negotiated with the rural women to regularly make delivery of these materials to the factory for our production.
Our database of small farm owners who adopted and patronized this initiative is the primary index to measure the success of the project. This index on its own is symptomatic of the fact that the initiative is on course and highly sustainable; my initial investment is almost recovered now and my plan for the $5,000 grant is to make further investment in the following capacities:
- Expansion and further additions to the existing facilities 2016/7-2016/8 ($1025)
- Employing competent hands for training/retraining of human resources 2016/9 ($100)
- Invitation/Further negotiation with raw materials suppliers 2016/9 ($0)
- Stocking the factory further with raw materials in readiness for greater output 2016/10 ($3000)
- Full operation, production and packaging of livestock feed 2016/11 ($875)
Blogpost and picture submitted by Abimbola Oyeniyi (Ilorin, Nigeria) – abimbolaoyebolaji[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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