...Grounding, Resourcefulness and Success

Welcome to SOFAAG, Africa's first association of agricultural entrepreneurs.

From crude oil to agro-based economy

“An economy that exports raw materials to import finished goods is a bad one. There is need for diversification from being an oil-exporting monocultural economy to an agro-based-made-in-Nigeria product exporting country”.
Nurdeen Oye (Registrar/SC -Institute of Classic Entrepreneurs)



Poverty in Nigeria is massive, pervasive and chronic, engulfing a large proportion of the society. At the foundation of every conflict, there is a phenomenon called poverty. There is a unanimous view that adequate employment opportunities are lacking given that Nigeria’s economic problems have seriously affected industrial growth, which could have eased the problem. When we talk about Nigeria development, there is a belief that its booming population can only equal crisis. By 2040, Africa's workforce could be double, so finding jobs for this young population should be at the forefront of government agenda.

Ironically and unfortunately, while banks, companies and government are busy retrenching, tertiary institutions are busy producing more graduates, hence, it is very difficult to provide direct employment to such a vast youth population. According to available statistics, youth unemployment has been growing geometrically since 1990.The impact of dramatic rise in youth unemployment has created victims of desperateness, frustration and insecurity leading to the generation of socially unacceptable behaviours.


This challenge is coupled with Nigeria's increasing demand for varied and nutritious foods. The solution to both is obvious: build successful agropreneurs and agribusinesses. These will not only provide food for Africa, but jobs and wealth for young entrepreneurs.

There is, however, a long way to go before this becomes a reality. Nigeria's agricultural value chains are underdeveloped and in places non-existent. One concrete way to strengthen an agribusiness value chain is to cater for new customers. Fragmented producers or businesses can be brought together to combine their resources. Growth of national and regional trade for the urban retail sector should also be supported. Investments that aid these three processes will deliver a stronger environment for jobs and wealth to be created.

Young people still view agriculture as a dead-end career that entails life-long labour on a farm. However, it does not have to be this way. With the right investments to support entrepreneurs in agriculture, profitable careers could await Nigeria's young population.

It is the consensus that Nigeria is blessed with what many other nations lack - talented people, a burgeoning population, an advantageous demographic, clement climate, abundant natural resources and cultural diversity. Unfortunately, in rural areas, where 85 per cent of Nigeria’s poor reside, the major cause of poverty has been identified as the use of outmoded and inefficient systems in agriculture and craft.

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture is the art, science and industry of managing the growth of plants and animals for human use. In a broad sense agriculture includes cultivation of the soil, growing and harvesting crops, breeding and raising livestock, aquatic animals, dairying, and forestry.

It is impossible to have an “agric-less” day.
• What we eat all comes from agriculture (including, the sea and aquaculture), at least at the beginning.
• The bed we sleep on typically has a wooden frame and is covered in cotton materials.
• Even if we sleep on pandanus mats, that material came from a plant.
• Plants covering the land help protect and filter our life-giving water.
• And there are many more examples of where agriculture enters our lives each day.
• Let us also be clear – food does not magically come from the shop or store – it first comes from farms! A shop is just a convenient place for people to come and purchase food.


Agribusiness Opportunities

• For Nigeria farmers, it is important to be aware of mar¬ket niches or gaps (special or unique) where perhaps they can provide a high quality product to the market place at a price the consumer can afford, and the farmer can make a reasonable return/profit.
• The search for opportunities is like treasure hunting – you need to put clues (data, experience) together in order to detect possible market demand that you can possibly fill by production on your farm.
• On an annual basis, the government Statistics Office sum¬marizes the import data for each shipment of food that is brought into the country.
• That data is critical to understanding potential market opportunities because if you can grow a crop of equal or better quality to the imports and a price that is equal or lower to the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) price of the product deliv¬ered to the dock or airport, then perhaps you have a market for your product.
• What is even more exciting is that a local import tax or tariff might also be placed on the imported product so if you can produce the cropslower than CIF + Tariff (if there is one) then you have extra breathing room when it comes to pricing.
• A study of the local import and export markets in the Nigerian indicates that there are some opportunities to sell more locally-grown produce in the country.

Agropreneurial Requirements

What do you need to be comfortable to start growing a new product or expanding your production in an existing crop?
Typi¬cally, you will need to know:
• How does produce “flow” through the marketing system?
• What products are being sold – over the last few years what is the amount (volume) and what is the CIF price (at a minimum)?
Who specifically is buying this crop?
• It is important not to just grow and “hope” that someone will buy your crop over another supplier. The buyer may have a long-term relationship with a product supplier and just because you can deliver it cheaper, does not mean the buyer will automatically switch to you.
• Go and meet with the buyer and start developing a business relationship.
• Can you grow this crop as good as the imported one given your skill and knowledge, your seeds, your soil conditions, and your water source?
• Can you consistently deliver this product on the buyer’s schedule?
• What is the cost of growing this product? .


Agropreneurship is solution to many economic problems like urbanization, poverty, unemployment and economic development. It helps in rural development

Agricultural entrepreneurship (Agropreneurship) is “the application of creativity and the innovation in the domestication of plants and animals by committing the required human and non-human resource, assuming the associated calculated risks and receiving the rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence in a socially responsible and legally compliant manner”.



• Modern agriculture is an inevitable practice for successful Agropreneurship and Agribusiness.
• Modern agriculture is a term used to describe the wide type of production practices employed by American farmers.
• It makes use of hybrid seeds of selected variety of a single crop, technologically advanced equipment and lots of energy subsidies in the form of irrigation water, fertilizers and pesticides.
• It depends heavily on engineering and technology as well as effective application of biological and physical sciences.
• Irrigation, drainage, conservation, and sanitary engineering—each of which is important in successful farming—are some of the fields requiring the specialised knowledge of agricultural engineers.



• Agricultural chemistry deals with other vital farming concerns, such as the application of fertilizer, insecticides and fungicides, soil makeup, analysis of agricultural products, and nutritional needs of farm animals.
• Plant breeding and genetics contribute immeasurably to farm productivity.
• Genetics has also made a science of livestock breeding.
• Hydroponics, a method of soilless gardening in which plants are grown in chemical nutrient solutions, may help meet the need for greater food production as the world’s population increases.


• The packing, processing, and marketing of agricultural products are closely related activities also influenced by science.
• Methods of quick-freezing and dehydration have increased the markets for farm products.
• Mechanization, the outstanding characteristic of late 19th- and 20th-century agriculture, has eased much of the backbreaking toil of the farmer.
• More significantly, mechanization has enormously increased farm efficiency and productivity.
• Animals including horses, oxen, llamas, alpacas, and dogs, however, are still used to cultivate fields, harvest crops, and transport farm products to markets in many parts of the world.

• Airplanes and helicopters are employed in agriculture for seeding, spraying operations for insect and disease control, transporting perishable products, and fighting forest fires.
• Imagine that you have hundreds of acres of farmland where you grow wheat, corn, or other crops. How are you going to fertilize them and protect them from pests?
• It might be a good idea to hire a crop duster.
• Crop dusters, also known as agricultural pilots or ag pilots, are pilots who fly small planes at low altitudes to spray fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides on fields of crops via aerial application.

Seed Bombing

• Seed bombing or aerial reforestation is a farming technique where trees and other crops are planted by being thrown or dropped from an airplane or flying drone.
• The “seed bombs” are typically compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation, which are ready to grow as soon they hit the ground.

• Increasingly satellites are being used to monitor crop yields.
• Radio and television disseminate vital weather reports and other information such as market reports that concern farmers.
• Computers have become an essential tool for farm management.
• E.g. The Dairy Gas Emissions Model (DairyGEM) is a software tool for estimating ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of dairy production systems as influenced by climate and farm management.


• Farming is business.
• It is as much business as importing goods, selling merchandise, building ships, running a railroad, and handling a mine.
• Jointly with industry in general, farming is subject to business principles and reacts to economic influences.
• The present day farmer should recognise that as such he is also essentially a business man, or else he must eventually succumb in competition with other business men.
What happens to your bank account if you have these during an Eid el Kabir festival?

Call them Agropreneurs

Agricultural entrepreneurs who are able to think around problems and create solutions for themselves and their customers become successful if they are able to master the basics of the product they are growing and as many business skills as possible.

SOFAAG is focused on your desire and needs to become the most successful agricultural entrepreneur possible. While some like the term “farmer”, at SOFAAG - just like at INCENT, the idea about what commercial (professional) growers do has changed: they are the producers of high quality food at a profit -Agropreneurs.

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