My name is Amuzie Austin. I was born in 1985 and currently reside in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. I am the Project Director for Future Leadership Conference, Executive Member of Watchman Youth Empowerment Scheme, Web and social media expert, Blogger and a persuasive speaker and youth development facilitator.
My passion and life’s story is how I called off my proposed university study programs in 2004 to answer a call to self-discovery and mastery through selfless services and personal development in various fields of endeavor, including agriculture, which has blessed many young people.
The Project: Rice Farming and Processing
Food is a basic necessity that a nation and the entire word cannot do without. It is said that a country that cannot feed itself cannot defend itself. Nigeria is the world’s second largest importer of rice, spending about N356 billion for about two million mt of milled rice a year. Total demand for rice in Nigeria is put at about 5 million MT a year.
Lagos State alone consumes over 50% of national rice demand which is put at two million mt and valued at over 365 billion Naira. This figure indicates that Lagos State consumes one billion Naira worth of rice daily.
At Delords Dream Farms, I will use advanced technology to farm, process, package and market rice produce, especially in Lagos state, which is a major consumer of rice. I will also buy rice farm produce from farmers who can’t process the harvested rice themselves and will process and sell the rice.
Also using our facility I will be processing rice for farmers at a minimal fee to encourage local farmers. Another interesting thing about my farm is that apart from farming, harvesting and processing rice for food consumption, I will also process the rice husks into briquette which is also a very sought-after product, thereby increasing revenues from our farm even further.
With my farm, I will reduce the problem of unemployment as it will create jobs for many, increase revenue for distributors and retailers of our products, reduce over-dependence on imported rice and serve Nigerians with more nutritious rice better than those imported.
My successes will encourage many young Nigerians to go into agriculture, and, as one given to youth development and empowerment, my farm will also serve as a social development resource center where I will train and develop more agripreneurs and farmers and assist them in starting up their farms.
As a social entrepreneur who on a regular basis interacts with young people who are faced with so many personal and economic challenges, I usually carry out research on various ways and opportunity one can take advantage of in developing oneself. From one of these studies, I came to a conclusion that the best way Nigeria as a country can empower most of its young citizens is by opening up various opportunities in agriculture.
A trip I took to the World Bank-backed Fadama Rice Project in Epe, Lagos State and to the Lagos State Rice mill facility opened my eyes to the huge opportunities in rice farming of which many individuals and the Lagos state government have failed to take advantage.
This led me into taking the necessary steps to start up a rice farming and processing project and also be of help in training other young people to get into the business.
How I intend to achieve my goal
I intend to undertake more proper research and training from well experienced experts at the FADAMA Center and also partner with several local rice farmers and the Lagos state government, which is very willing to work with us on this project. I will raise the needed funding for my project and implement the action plans for the achievement of this project.
What I have done thus far
Currently I am concluding an agreement with the FADAMA Center in Lagos state to begin my rice farming and processing project with their assistance. Also I have taken several training programs and trips related to Rice farming and processing in order to get more experience and knowledge on how to go about the project.
How I will measure my success
My success will be measured at the end of every planting season, which is four months. I will have 3 planting seasons each year.
Two hectare of land harvested gives us at least 5 tonnes harvest return. One tonne of OFADA rice in the market is worth above $1800. Therefore, 5 tonnes gives me above $9000 at the end of a planting season.
This amount is only for the rice production. I will also earn revenue from rice processing for other farmers and from the sales of briquettes which will be earned from the processed rice husk.
How I plan to use the USD $5000 grant
2 hectares OFADA rice (120 days):
2 Hectares of Land Lease for farming – $1500
Seed cost 90 kg – $220
Fertilizer 8 bags – $240
Orizon (for weed control, 6 litres) – $45
Roundup 6 lt – $195
Insecticide 2 lt – $15,
Osa Rice 4 lt – $120
Biotamax 20 pack – $150
Cost of land preparation including weed control (2 Hec) – $200
Mechanization service (harrowing and ploughing) -$350
Labour for planting – $100
Spraying labour cost – $75
Bird Scaring net spread- $820
Harvest and processing – $300
Irrigation – $650
Blogpost and picture submitted by Austin Amuzie (Nigeria) – delords[at]futureleadershipconference.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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