How can the relationship between the hair-care industry and agriculture develop the agricultural value chain in the Caribbean Region? This question has been circulating in my head for almost a year.
Let me first introduce myself, I am Fayola Alake Agaja a 32-year-old Trinidadian living in Barbados. For the past nine months I have been an active participant of the Youth Agripreneurship Incubator Programme (YAIP), the flagship of the Ministry of Agriculture Food Fisheries and Water Resource Management, and also the Human Resource Development Strategy in Barbados.
This programme opened my eyes to the unlimited possibilities and the untapped business potential of the agriculture industry as it relates to organic farming, agro-processing, and the green economy.
Moreover, this programme enables me to show how the hair-care industry can be incorporated into the agricultural value chain of the Caribbean region.
This project seeks to develop and enhance the agricultural value chain by ingeniously creating connections among seemingly unrelated industries.
Essentially, our aim is to utilize indigenous plant materials to produce natural hair-care products. Our manufacturing techniques will be guided by the principles of harmony, mutuality, and preservation between people and the planet.
Our mission, then, is to promote agriculture as the transformational tool through the landscape of the hair-care industry—within Barbados and the Caribbean Region, and, by extension, the world.
Therefore, this agro-processing project will make a significant contribution to Barbados’ economic goals of job creation for youth through the development of the ‘green economy’ and energy efficiency.
Additionally, since the ingredients being used will be produced locally, there is a twin effect of stimulating the growth of the small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) while reducing the need for foreign exchange.
Within the Caribbean, an under-developed value-added network for agri-products, coupled with non-systematic farming production, presents a unique opportunity for agro-processors.
As such, the motivation behind this project is clear: bridge the existing gap between the regional agricultural value chain and seemingly unrelated industries.
Thus, this project would then act as baseline data for research and future development of regional agriculture.
As a cottage agro-processing facility that utilizes regional organic agricultural inputs, we have manufactured organic hair and body oils. Our goal is to expand production and manufacture a line of hair-care products made from 100% natural materials. Therefore, the project key success factors are to:
- Produce a hair-care line with five products by the 3rd June 2016
- Acquire three consistent local raw material suppliers by 4th April 2016
- Establish a website that facilitates e-commerce within the Caribbean region by 5th July 2016
Start Date: 4 April 2016
Order raw materials and equipment 4/4/16–15/4/16
Acquiring raw materials and equipment 16/4/16–22/4/16
Production and packaging 25/4/16–3/6/16
- Website development, USD 1,900
- Labour cost, USD 1,200
- Equipment, USD 1,000
- Agricultural raw material, USD 500
- Packaging and labelling, USD 400
Blogpost and picture submitted by Fayola Alake Agaja (Barbados): aloyaf.ajaga[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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