Greatness starts with giant strides towards paths that men fear, and the existence of men has only ever depended on reproducing agricultural flukes which have also evolved with the sophistication of the human race.
I have no doubt that the spero lucem (light after darkness) thrown into my life was by association, as it is often said that with the right guidance and interactions even a blind man will find his way to El Dorado.
In this context, I am the blind man who found light by mingling with farmers. This is my story and this is how the 3 weeks of leave from my white collar IT job turned me into a farmer.
I am Jide Anjous. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1990 and have lived in the city all my life. I Studied at Crescent University Abeokuta, Ogun State, where I acquired a Bachelor’s degree in information and communication technology.
Abeokuta is the state capital of Ogun state, which of course is another city, so I can be called a City Boy. I was lucky enough to work in the E-Commerce sector after my NYSC (National Youth Service Corp) ended.
I was settled in my city, as the stories for the urgent need for diversification of the economy due to our current sole dependency on oil hit the papers. I started to read and research on agriculture, and the more I read the more I fell in love with agriculture and vegetable farming in particular.
But of course, the fear of leaving the city for a village in pursuit of my vegetable farm illusions was drawing me away gradually. I kept asking questions: Why are there are no vegetable farms in the city? How does life in the village feel? Do some vegetables grow on trees? I was really a novice at this, trust me.
The search for answers to my unending questions led me to cross paths with Mr. Kunle Ore, Chief Farmer at Blooming Gardens, whom I met through a friend of mine. Blooming Gardens wasn’t located in the city, so we kept communication going via phone calls and social media apps and soon our friendship grew stronger.
Mr. Ore invited me to hang out with him on the farm, which I obliged of course! I applied for my leave of absence from work as soon as I could. My stay at his farm, which is in Epe Lagos state, was pure magic for me – life changing to say the least. I fell in love more every day for the 3 weeks I stayed, which led to me submitting my resignation letter on the day I returned back to work.
I soon returned to Epe to start my little vegetable farm I had longed dreamt about, and since then (3 months now) I haven’t looked back. Living in the rural environment is actually fun!
What We Do
Our farm, Duke of Anjous (DOA) is currently in operation in Epe Lagos State. We cultivate sweet pepper, also known as green pepper, paprika (also known as Rodo) and onions.
We plant all year round irrespective of the seasons with the aid of our drip irrigation system. We wait for no rains! Soil replenishment is carried out by our trusted research consultant Blooming Gardens, which helps to supply us information on the right dose of fertiliser to help the plant at various stages.
They also conduct regular inspection of the plants for pest attacks and suggest insecticides and fungicides to help combat the attack, if the need arises.
We see the wider business prospect in our field, which can only be taken advantage of if we expand the land space we currently occupy. We will be using the seed fund acquired from the “YAP” Young Agripreneurs Project to expand our land to a hectare and also kick start our Farm To Live movement.
Farm To Live is the brain child of myself, Jide Anjous. The main goal of this movement is to help transform our young people’s mindset on farming, to see agriculture as a viable profitable and honourable business.
I have seen the present state of unemployment on the rise daily and the frustration of employed staff hating their respective jobs by the minute for reasons best known to them. So I see the need for Farm To Live to come to life.
We will kick start this campaign by paying a visit to the community senior secondary school closest to our present farm location, Molajoye Community Junior/Senior High School Epe Lagos State.
We will be inviting 15 students presently taking agriculture as a subject in school to visit our farm.
Three groups will be formed of 5 students each, and each team will have the privilege to be mentored on how one of the three vegetable we cultivate is being grown up to the point of sales. Each group will be assigned 1 plot of land, seeds and input and be given strict supervision and practical tutorage.
A weekly update of all the latest goings on from the farm will be uploaded on our blog. Students would have access to share their experience on the blog and see the huge benefit of the social media on agriculture.
Friends from the city can have a chance to mingle with us weekly by visiting the blog and remember, with no doubt in mind, that I know they will see that farming is the very first primary industry. It is the oldest job in human history, and the biggest job on earth.
The diversification starts with you and me! #FarmToLive #YAP
The project’s success will be measured based on the following:
- Total sales at the end of the year.
- Amount of students able to complete the practical part of farming at our facility.
- Traffic on our blog.
Land Preparation: $750 USD
Borehole and Pipe Fitting: $700 USD
Drip Tapes: $1700 USD
Seeds: $320 USD
Insecticides: $175 USD
Fungicide: $175 USD
Fertiliser: $430 USD
Labour: $300 USD
Herbicide: $100 USD
Running Costs: $350 USD
Blogpost and picture submitted by Jide Anjous (Nigeria) – jide.anjous[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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