It was quite an eye-opener, working as a team leader with youths from three different countries (Kenya, UK, and Nigeria) on the Voluntary Service Overseas—International Citizen Service (VSO-ICS), on a cocoa value-chain project.
Working with Kenyans, especially, where most of them were agropreneurs and actively involved in the dairy value chain—that was quite a learning curve I will not forget in a hurry. And this forms the basis for my idea for the YAP competition.
My name is Dr Oluwatomiisin Olakanmi, a 27-year-old Nigerian woman and public health veterinarian interested in agribusiness development initiatives. I’m especially interested in advancing the economic interests of the women smallholder farmers in the livestock sector of the industry by providing finance.
I desire to work with players involved in the livestock industry to establish a viable livestock value chain. This is in the wake of the governments’ ban on imported frozen food, the rising rate of youth unemployment, the detached segments of the value chain which gives the middlemen the upper hand, thereby resulting in a loss to producers and inability of the smallholders to actively have a share of the market as their products are sub standard to consumer requests.
My proposal is to have an agriculture finance mechanism for women in livestock production and the attendant value chain.
Following through on the microfinance model of group lending, groups of local producers and middlemen/processors will be formed with agricultural engineers and packaging professionals.
Processors will demand what needs to be done and machineries needed to make sure final products are according to regulatory and consumer standards, while the producers will have a direct link to their market thereby effectively eliminating middlemen.
Our microfinance institution, together with an insurance company, will bear the financial expenses and risks while agreements will be drawn on how the players will offset their bills conveniently.
The success of this project will further cast on agribusiness a better light and hopefully have an impact on more youths and smallholders interested in agribusiness.
Presently, about ten groups have been formed with an average of about nine women/groups with a loan portfolio of about 2.5 million naira (USD 12,500 USD) in its about four months of existence.
The grant will be provided as loans to further reach out to more women and especially on building the capacities of our clients.
Accessibility to loans is quite easy as group guarantee, individual guarantee and proof of having an existing business are the major requirements for taking a loan.
Sustainability is ensured by providing funds as loans with interest so others can have access to the funds and to ensure loan repayment is adhered to, after services are provided such as health talks, financial advice, etc., at no extra cost to clients.
The project aims to:
- Attract more youths and women into agribusiness and helping them find their niche within the value chain
- Effectively eliminate the middleman
- Provide veterinary, financing, and other technical services required to players in the value chain
- Build capacity of players to ensure traceability of food products, and food safety from farm to fork.
The success of the poultry value chain project will scale up to involve other types of livestock, mainly sheep and goats which are untapped sources of wealth in rural areas in Southwestern Nigeria.
USD 3,500 will be invested as seed fund to purchase the necessary machineries (defeathering machine, head-leg cutter, sealing machine, etc.) for the women while the women repay the fund back with interest.
The modalities of paying back will be discussed with all parties so it can be convenient and the participatory part of the venture would be integrated. The remaining USD 1,500 would cover capacity-building, consultation forums, awareness campaigns, and employee welfare.
Impact will be measured by:
- Personal and project impact case studies obtained from participants involved in the project;
- Surveys done before, during, and after the project
- Testimonies from participants, community, and consumers
- Regular feedbacks from participants especially at participatory sessions
- Regular participatory sessions between all involved
- Sales volume increase will also be a major success story.
Risks will be reduced by regular consultations to identify issues arising in the value chain; insurance by the Agricultural Insurance Corporation or any other Commercial Insurance Company willing to partner with us and regular capacity building sessions to be organized for clients and employees by specialists. (Extension services by Subject Matter Specialists.)
Being one of the winners of the grant will definitely be a dream come true as more livelihoods for hardworking women who are disadvantaged due to one thing or another can be secured especially as this month is the #Africa4Her.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Oluwatomiisin Olakanmi (Nigeria): estlak.to[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #266 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.
Check out the side column for our current sponsors. “YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.