My name is Adigun Modinat Adenike, 29, representing a group of three young, talented, and energetic Nigerian young women, located in Ibadan, Nigeria. The group is unique because of the different ethnic and educational backgrounds of its members.
The group has a common goal to harness the potentials in Agribusiness thereby creating jobs for ourselves and other youths. In effect, we have identified various agribusiness opportunities, one of which is rice production.
Rice is an important and basic staple food crop consumed by Nigerians and Africans as a whole. A report from Nigeria Trade Hub News in 2016 shows that Nigeria is currently a major importer of rice and the second largest importer of rice in the world, spending about USD 500,000 daily on rice imports because of the huge gap between rice production and its demand.
Many rice farmers are faced with the challenge of getting quality seeds as they mostly get adulterated seeds in lieu of standard certified seeds, which result in poor quality produce hence poor income.
The situation of importation has eaten deep into the economy by raising the bars of unemployment, poverty and hunger. This can be mitigated if more people cultivate good quality seed that would enable us bridge the palpable gap between rice production and demand of the populace, enough to even improve its exportation.
Hence, our interest in rice production is stirred out of a passion to be a part of the solution to our nation’s economy, consequently, empowering us and, more importantly, creating wealth for ourselves in Agriculture.
We aim to acquire necessary skills in this light with hands-on experience to drive the agribusiness value chain.
The business will start on a small scale (testing the waters) by cultivating foundation seeds of improved varieties (from AfricaRice, an International Research Institute on Rice seeds), the required certifications, legal rights involved in seed business will be acquired, and thereafter, we will scale out gradually.
The first cycle from production to harvesting will last for a maximum of five months depending on the variety. Improved seed varieties that are usually not available to local farmers will become readily available to the local communities; thereby promoting availability of quality/pure rice seeds that will compete favorably with imported versions.
It is important that we get this ‘Seed fund’ because it will empower us to live our dream of reducing importation in our economy, help us provide employment opportunities to other youths like us, as we plan to subsequently absorb more women and rural youths into our business.
On acquiring the seed fund, we will:
- Land lease (ten hectares) at the cost of USD 350,
- Intensive land clearing and preparation for two months, USD 500 (Land preparation for rice has to be properly done, with the land well puddle before planting).
- Cost of inputs USD 600
- Planting cost is USD 300.
- Management practices (e.g fertilizer application, transplanting, weeding) at a cost of USDD 650.
- Labour cost is USD 600
- Transportation and logistics USD 500
- Harvesting, processing and bagging will cost USD 500
- Storage facility USD 500
- Contingency of USD 500
The success of this business will be measured by the number of tonnes produced and sold after the first cycle, income generated capable of paying stipends to ourselves.
The overall impact however, would be evident in the number of other youths absorbed within the lifespan of the business (youth empowerment and job creation) and most importantly, the ripple effect it will gradually have on Nigeria’s economy in promoting food security.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Adigun Modinat Adenike (Nigeria): boukyblack[at]yahoo.co.uk
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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