I am Olaolu Lawrence Ayeni from Nigeria, and I love music, writing, creating new ideas, travelling, acting and watching football. My professional work experience started with advertising to experiential marketing and brand management.
Recently I have been working independently managing Vitafoam retail outlet and as an Independent Business owner with the world’s number one Multi-Level Marketing Company, Forever Living.
I plan to set up a plantain plantation for cultivation of plantain and processing of plantain-based products including plantain flour, plantain chips and other value additions. It will be combined with snail farming.
The pilot phase will commence in 2016 with a plot of land to be located in South West Nigeria near Ibadan.
Our intention is to achieve 100% utilization of all produce by the first 18 months of starting the business. This will be achieved via:
Selling Plantain fruit mainly in the locality where it is produced, preferably on farm site. This is to avoid cost of hire of heavy duty trucks or buses to sell in urban areas.
We will blend the unripe plantain for packaging and selling in urban areas. This is very necessary due to the health benefits as an alternative to cassava flour due to the low sugar content.
This will be processed using existing blenders and packaged in polyurethane bags in units.
Urban dwellers are increasingly more concerned about health and diet. Ripe plantain will be prepared into chips which are also in high demand in urban areas and sold.
Upon successful completion of the first phase of the business in about 18 months, we will set up an estimated 10 acres with full processing of plantain-based products including soaps and creams.
In addition we will rear snails on the farm site, which is a natural habitat for snail breeding. This phase will also involve setting up a full farm house with processing machines and security. This will be funded by proceeds from the first phase.
My motivation is that I have always had a desire to invest in agriculture and good food because I love good food. Agriculture has always been a viable business in Nigeria. However with the current need to increase exports, the Industry is growing and is the second largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product in Nigeria.
The Government is also providing more support for the Industry and it is capable of overcoming any economic depression.
Furthermore, increasing unemployment has created a need to create domestic businesses that will create jobs for the locals and create wealth especially via food processing and value addition.
These are the steps I intend to take to achieve my goal:
Prepare a business plan
Attend Fast Start Agricultural Training Program with Agricultural Institute
Source funding for the business
Embark on survey of possible agricultural land with assessment from experts
Secure agricultural land
Commence cultivation and preparation of land
Purchase hybrid plantain stumps
Employ Farm Manager and Security
I have started making enquiries seeking professional advice from Agriculture Educationist and experts. It is my intention to commence the Agricultural Fast Start Training Program Institute of Agricultural Research and Training in Ibadan.
I am going to set up the snail farm in Lagos State, where I reside, by April 2016. This will help generate a little revenue and provide experience on managing the snail farm which will later be integrated into the plantain farm.
In order to measure the success of my project I will look at the following:
For us our ability to achieve full utilization of the plantain products and avoid wastage is of great importance. This is because of the need to contribute to United Nation Development Program plans to reduce food waste and hunger. In addition it is very important to generate revenue to fund our possible expansion plans.
Budget USD $5000 grant (in-kind contribution: $1,125)
Blogpost and picture submitted by Olaolu Ayeni (Nigeria) – ayeniolaolu[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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