I am Eluwole Olaniyi Akinkunmi, 31, from Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. I have B.Tech (Bachelor in Technology) in agricultural economics and extension from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
I am an agricultural entrepreneur with eight-years’ quality experience running farms as a social enterprise to create jobs for women and young people, and build the capacity of disadvantaged women and young people in my community.
Maize and cassava are used as raw materials in some industries in Nigeria, they are also used as food for animal and human beings, and this has made them to be on high demand.
But due to some factors, many young people have quitted the farming business for other economic activities and this has caused a great adverse effect on the economy of our community and affected the livelihood of many families and causing under production as many production companies cannot get enough for their productions.
Some of the factors that affected the production of this include, poor yield due to poor seeds and stems planted, inadequate capital to fund the project, poor storage facility, poor processing method etc.
This has led to my great idea which is cultivating 20acres of land intercropping cassava enriched with vitamin A and yellow maize.
We have 20 acres of land with soil nutrient, soil structure and topography suitable for cultivating grains and tubers. As the growing season is fast approaching, we plan to clear the land and get it ready for the rain, to get optimum and quality yield we will buy improved maize seeds and cassava stems from the institute of international and tropic agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, for planting.
The planting will commence in June with young men and women in the village being employed to perform the activities on the farm.
I have been practising agriculture for the past eight years. I have adequate and knowledge of it. And I have the passion to train, assist, and empower young farmers in my community in my own little way.
Our community does not have access to improved seeds and stems due to poor finance, transportation, education, and other socioeconomic factors. I intend to plant the 20 acres of improved breed of maize and cassava, after the harvesting the product will not be sold externally, but to the community at a very reduced rate at the next growing season. This we’ll do with monitoring and motivation by our farm support services, which will make agriculture attractive to the young farmers in the community and help them bounce back to agriculture
- We currently have 20 acres of land suitable for planting maize and cassava, which is a major factor for the success of the project.
- We intend to clear the land and get set as the raining season is fast approaching.
- Buy improved seeds and cassava stems from the institute of international tropic agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria
- Employ 20 young people both male and female for the activity.
- By May, first and second plough will be done.
- By June, the planting will commence with maize planting and cassava will be planted early July.
- Weeding will be done in august
- Harvesting and storage in jute bags will be in October.
- Cassava will be harvested after six months.
What has been done to get this project started?
I have tried to get this started long ago. Part of my efforts has yielded by getting 20 acres of fertile and suitable land for the project. Also contacted the local government for tractors to be used for the operation.
How to measure the success of the project?
The success of this project will begin to manifest between 4 to 6 months from the commencement.
- We plan to train and equip 100 young farmers in the community; the number of young farmers trained and empowered.
- The number of community members that are able to access the seeds and stems for their planting in the next season.
- The revenue generated at the end of the process.
- The socio economic impact on the community within the year.
- Profit generated through the sales of the maize seedlings, cassava tubers and cassava stems.
How will USD 5,000 grant be used?
The grant will be used mainly for running costs, as it will be used to procure inputs and major operations on the farm.
- First and second ploughing of the soil USD 500 in May.
- Purchase of maize seedlings and cassava stems USD 750 in May.
- Fertilizer application USD 1,000
- Farm tools and chemicals USD 300 in June
- Harvesting and storage using maize cribs and jute bags USD 900 in October
- Labour will be used from May to the end of the growing season USD 1,100
- Contingency USD 450.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Eluwole Olaniyi Akinkunmi (Nigeria): mailto:eluwoleniyi[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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