Updated: Nov 15, 2019
We know the struggles and challenges young agropreneurs face when starting their farms or business. The daunting task of weathering the cost of running an agribusiness at its foundation has led to the untimely collapse of many agribusinesses. While some have failed, some Agropreneurs have found the courage and the fortitude required to push through and establish their businesses despite the pitfalls. These Agropreneurs had to dig deeper and stay motivated despite the negativity around them and the uncertainty of the industry.
We will be sharing the stories of these Agropreneurs who have inspired us to believe in our dream and keep at it, and we hope they inspire you to pursue that agribusiness idea you have and don’t quit. This week, we got together with the Founder of FOS farms (A poultry farm), Mr. Jide Falode as he shares his remarkable story from 15 broilers to over 500 layers.
Agricmania: What inspired you to venture into Agriculture? Mr Jide: I was inspired while in secondary school to be a farmer that will feed the nation. I decide to start in a little way after I completed my secondary school education. I had great influence in making that decision. My biology teacher, Mr James and Dr. Faramade of VOM were great influences. Dr Faramade explain the sector to me in simple terms and equipped me with knowledgeable materials. After this, I started with my farm with 15 broilers.
Agricmania: What challenges did you face starting out and how did you overcome them? Mr Jide: I had a lot challenges starting, especially with naysayers. I remember when I started my mom wasn’t in support. We had a conversation in which she told me about my dad’s failure in the poultry business earlier in their marriage and how he backed out eventually. This revelation only made me more determined to succeed. Not long after I started my farm, I gained admission into the University of Ibadan. Everyone around opined I should sell my birds and focus on school. I refused, telling them that since I would be studying agriculture, my farm would serve as a practical project, practising all I learnt in school there. After my admission, because of the time requirement at school. I had to employ and manage people to feed the birds and pack their eggs which proved a daunting task. I also had difficulties with money to buy feeds for my birds, (150 layers at the time) and pay my workers. I had to increase the number of private lessons I took to cater for the birds’ management. Managing between farm, school and my tutoring job also was a stressful experience.
Agricmania: We know funding for agribusiness can be tasking, how did you approach raising funds for your farm? Mr. Jide: It was tough raising funds especially as an undergraduate. I got private lessons jobs to teach students to raise funds for my business. Like I said earlier, I had to increase the number of students I taught to gather funds. I had the help of a wonderful friend, Moses who generously helped with some of his salary to cater for feeds and employees’ wages.
Agricmania: Looking back, what attributes or qualities has carried you through the thick and thin of managing an agribusiness? Mr. Jide: Resilience and determination to succeed despite the challenges.
Agricmania: With your experience, what secrets can you share you with aspiring Agropreneurs? Mr. Jide: New Agropreneurs should be proactive and determined. Don’t wait till you have a million naira to start, Be a great planner. Develop the strength to multi task. The industry is a place to learn, have a mentor and a role model.
We hope you're inspired to overcome despite the challenges. We know you also have an amazing story to share, we want to hear it. Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are waiting for you, inspire others.