GFAR blog

YAP proposal #266: Agriculture microfinance for women in livestock production (Oluwatomiisin Olakanmi, Nigeria)

IMG_20160307_095811It 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):[at]

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.

72 thoughts on “YAP proposal #266: Agriculture microfinance for women in livestock production (Oluwatomiisin Olakanmi, Nigeria)”

  1. This project is amazing and well put together. I am glad a young woman is coming up with an initiative like this to reach out to other women to improve and secure their livelihood. Hopefully, the fund will support in bringing this project to reality. Thank you Tomiisin and keep up the good work!

    1. Barnabas, be a woman whose work revolves around any part of the livestock value chain; you can start a new group or join an existing group,you will have to fulfill some requirements though ( compulsory savings/ counterpart funding which serves as a kind of security for the loans,filling of forms,bringing your guarantor around etc)
      If you have any other question, ll be glad to answer them.
      Thank you

  2. What geographical area will this project cover? Will women from every state in the country be able to benefit conveniently from this project?

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      At the moment, the Southwestern area of the country is the focus. Women in every part of the country will be a beneficiary but that will be a gradual process ( forecast is for the next 2-3 years). Access to funds, continous workshops for building capacities of customers and the high risk of the venture are major challenges which requires that growth can’t be a magical process

      1. Where will your office be located? If the city or state capitals, how will it conveniently be of benefit to the rural dwellers?

  3. This is an idea that is practical and useful. Finance is a huge problem for many agropreneurs as well as accessing markets and this idea addresses these issues amongst other important aspects of the agro value chain. Certainly, I would put my money in this idea. You have earned my vote.

    1. Kokommah, thanks for the vote of confidence. The problems you identified (especially with rural farmers) are the major challenges the project aims to find solutions to. Thanks for being an inspiration too.

  4. Weldone Tomiisin you continue to inspire me. This project will make immense impact as it targets the grassroots, leaving no room too many hands between farmers and the loans.

    1. This is awesome, well thought of and brilliantly written proposal. It implementation will bring about the much needed support for women in agribusiness, resulting improved food security, enhanced livelihood, and economic growth. It should be supported.

  5. Wonderful proposal and the most practical I have read so far,so many research has been done in the area of value chain with keen interest in policy recommendations leaving out the most important things like the financing and the complete elimination of middle men………………Great job friend you have my support

    1. Agric Economist ,thanks for the vote of confidence. Any issues/ challenges you think may arise

  6. This is well thought of and brilliantly written proposal. It implementation will provide the much needed support for women in agribusiness, resulting in a boast in food security, improved livelihood, and economic growth. It should be supported.

  7. Ever since I met you, you always had the zeal to walk the path others will rarely do. This is indeed another journey and I am totally positive and confident you are more than capable. You have my vote.

    1. Dunsola,thanks for the vote of confidence. Together let’s make our ‘little’ impact

  8. This is beautiful I am really impressed with this proposal. This will empower Nigerian women and build our economy. If a Nigerian youth still has these ideas then Nigeria will be great again.

  9. This is awesome… Most women need this to bring their vision to reality.. Weldone Tomison

    1. Thanks Lettuce and Esther,thanks for allowing me tap from your pot of knowledge

  10. This is very good and am sure it will relieve be of great help to the community and the rural women. We have the resources let’s make the best use of them. Great job

  11. Well thought initiative. History has shown that women owned developmental initiatives increase economic opportunities for all.

    1. Thanks Victoria. You’re welcome to join the group or you can set one yourself. When you’re ready you can get in touch with me via my email address so we can talk-

  12. Nice project, will definitely add value to women in Agriculture and enhance the Agricultural sector as a whole. It’s high time we start shifting our focus from petroleum{crude oil} and invest in Agriculture. Well done.

  13. Glad to see how this idea is finally turning out. Kudos on your resilience so far! You have done a good job

    1. @ Olabisi, thanks for the words of encouragement. @ Pelumi, thanks for your support through the ‘dark times’

  14. A very creative and enchanting venture…..not surprising from Dr. Olakanmi Oluwatomisin. More grace and honour….I’m all for this!

  15. it’s amazing that global community are encouraging and showing appreciation for such projects. There is no doubt in my mind, if well funded , it will reduce level of poverty and increase food circulation globally. Great job! , keep up the good work.

  16. The importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasised. Small scale women farmers make up the majority of farmers in Africa, assisting them with funds will definitely propel the growth of agriculture in general. #ideasthatwork

  17. The importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasised. Small scale women farmers make up the majority of farmers in africa, assisting them with funds will propel the growth of agriculture in africa. # ideasthatwork

  18. Access to funds is indeed an issue that affects both existing and prospective agriprenuers, especially women. As such, there is no better time to tackle this challenge head-on challenge given efforts by the Nigerian government to revive the agricultural sector.

    As a journalist, I have followed Tomisin’s progress, especially while at VSO. She’s very passionate and committed to solving social problems. I have no doubt that she has the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to see this laudable idea to fruition, if given the nod she deserves.

  19. Well thought through initiative. Very apt also especially considering the present need of the time. All the best Tomiisin.

  20. The project involves players within the whole value chain and NOT only producers (usually found within the rural areas) so offices will be located both at urban and rural areas. Although the extension part of the work is a key part so there are field officers who have to be in constant touch with the customers. The women do need to get to the offices as the offices get to them wherever they may be.

  21. having look at the proposal keenly, I can attest to the fact that it is a laudable one. The value of oil is dwindling by the day and the alternative resource to dirve the economy is agriculture. The main issues most people have with agriculture is the finance aspect, I am glad that is the aspect you are looking at. However, how sustainable will you intervention and project be? How do you attract young unemployed people to key into the opportunities that lie within the value chains.

  22. Having look at this project keenly, I can attest to the fact that the project is a laudable one. The value of our petroleum products is dwindling by the day and the only alternative we have to save the economy is agriculture. The main issue that has made agriculture stagnant over the years have been inadequate access to funding and finance, I am glad that your project is driven towards fixing that loophole.

    However, I would like to know how you will ensure sustainability of this project in the long run. Also, I would want ti know how you will attract young unemployed people to take advantage of the opportunities that lies within the value chain of agriculture. Lastly, where do you see this programme in the next 5 years.

    1. Thank you Moyosore for the compliments. Sustainability of this project is ensured by providing loans with interests besides having a counterpart funding clause helps the funds go round. Having field officers that do regular checks helps in ensuring risks is reduced to a large extent and loan repayment is with less default.
      About attracting youths,inasmuch as we have business ideas, the project values it’s competitive advantage on its participatory approach. As a youth ,what are the things we can put in place to attract you?
      But to answer your question, going on radio, organising workshops/ events, distributing fliers, etc are ways we would attract youths. Our target is to have reached 1 million farmers (both young and old females) in the next 5 years.

  23. I am happy you are talking about ‘LIVESTOCK VALUE CHAIN’. This will help to develop various model to resuscitate the dead livestock business in Nigeria especially among the less privileged livestock farmers. Well-done doctor.

  24. As always, I’m pretty impressed with the simplified but yet impactful and actualizable design of your project. I’m sure this will go a long way in empowering women and youth in the target communities and help Nigeria make significant strides in achieving some of the Sustainable development goals.
    Thumbs up Dr Olakanmi.

  25. Women everywhere i have gone in my journey in agriculture play a critical role. You see them everywhere from production to harvesting. Sadly, the men usually are at the receiving end of the benefits. Providing finance for women will definitely bridge the gap and empower them especially since your idea runs through the value chain. All the best.

  26. Thanks to everyone who have contributed especially about the gains of the project and the accolades but a question about how do youths think they can be attracted into seeing agriculture and the agriculture value chain as being cool ?

    1. As a young person who has seen the meagre net income gotten by low end farmers due to various factors that we can’t exhaust, I will rather look at the aspect which the use of technology could leverage on. I wouldn’t wanna go on the firm getting dirty when I know I am not assured of a correspondent Income from my labour. I will most likely see how technology can take out or enhance some aspect of the valie chain process.

      1. Moyosore, youths wanting to farm but not wanting to do the dirty job is one of the major reasons why the project is looking at the value chain and not just one aspect of farming. Technology greatly has a critical role to play. When farmers can come together to rent farming equipments , then it makes production less of a drudgery/ if one of the farmers can afford being the owner of farming equipments then his own line of business could be renting it out to other farmers; Same scenario goes for production, storage,transportation and marketing of final produce. Young people who are techie can develop apps for sales or any of the aspects
        Moyosore,you’re one person especially that is in the tech field,can you also suggest other ways technology can play out in the whole process that will make youths see farming as a ‘cool’ venture and see the business side of it ?

  27. In a country where emphasis is placed on white collar job. It’s so great to see upcoming youth engaging in Agric sector to see to it that our country move from being a consumer to a producer. I applaud the fact that you target women empowerment.
    What an innovative proposal Tomisin, the sky is your starting point.

  28. This is put together very nicely and professionally. Your ideas are fantastic and achievable which makes a reachable goal!

  29. This is workable, especially in this transitioning period for our economy. However, how do you intend to work with the bank of agriculture (govt) for a wider empowerment. Even though the governmental agencies are slacking about this, I think you should find a way to bring them in for prolonged/continuous empowerment.

  30. @ Olasupo, the organization is Non Governmental but that doesn’t rule out partnering with the government where necessary. But working with the Bank of Agriculture at the moment is not in our plans due to the beaureucracy and corruption that is a major bane of that sector. We’ll definitely involve and work with them when the time comes

  31. This is simply a waoh! I trust it will leave the realm of proposal and become a reality. It has a potential of touching and making impacts on the nation itself. Thanks Tomisin…you are good!

  32. It’ll surely be an astonishing project on the long run,motivating African women and empowering the agropreneurs and those actively involved in the dairy value chain.Dope proposal

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