Monday, 26 August 2013

Jovana Farms; A Mushroom Farming Start-Up Company

My personal experience as an agric entrepreneur has proved that farming mushroom, antelope, quail, rabbit, grass cutter, snail, laboratory rat and guinea pig is second nature.In the case of mushroom cultivation, its production gives smallholder farmers a big chance to increase their income, improve their health and offers an alternative means of livelihood to urban and rural farmers.

The process of growing mushroom is one of the easiest ways to earn a living and not much physical strength is required in its production.The potentials in mushroom farming makes it an investor delight as a viable money making option. Investment in mushroom production will in the long run contribute to food security, wealth, and health and employment creation.Getting started on a mushroom farm is a potentially lucrative way of getting into the farming business. This kind of farming is highly remunerative enterprise with quick return.

There are many types of mushrooms and they can be categorized into Four Saprotrophic, Mycorrhizal, Parasitic, and Entophytic. Edible mushrooms are considered as healthy food because their mineral content is higher than that of meat or fish and most vegetables.

Nigeria job seekers can succeed in overcoming the challenges of poverty and unemployment through micro, small and medium scale rat breeding. But first we must empower our people with the right resources and skills then they’ll be able to create a brighter future for themselves and for the country.Good market. Many opportunities abound in the growth of mushrooms as many hospitality industries in the country still import the product to add to their meals. Majority of big hotels in Nigeria have mushrooms in their daily menu, but this mushrooms came from abroad, this means local production will have a ready market. There is opportunity to even export mushroom, once you can produce good quality that can be exported to Europe and America.

More farmers are of late going into the farming of mushrooms, a neglected and forgotten healthy food, which is not only improving the financial status of the producers but the health of the consumers’ as well.The rate at which Nigerians have shown interest in the eating of mushrooms is given a massive boost to production of the delicacy.ViabilityThe technology for the cultivation of mushroom species could be easily adopted by individuals, co-operative societies, families, and famers, schools in the rural and urban centers without difficulties. The cultivation of the mushroom can be done all year round as sources of the mushrooms are from agricultural wastes which are always available in abundance in Nigeria.The high rate of returns and low cost of investment as well as farming them are some of the reasons many farmers are fast resorting to mushroom cultivation these days.Prince Arinze Onebunne, is the CEO Jovana Farms and can be reached on

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


A study published today in the Journal of Nutrition provides conclusive evidence that orange sweet potato (OSP) provided significant amounts of vitamin A to malnourished Ugandan children and women and that a modest improvement in vitamin A levels in the body was measurable in some cases.Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major public health concern in poorer countries and accounts for more than 600,000 deaths a year among children under five years of age. In Africa, VADprevalence is estimated at 42% among children under five.Uganda is among the African countries reported to be at high risk, with 28% of children and 23% of women estimated to be vitamin A deficient. VAD can impair immunity and cause eye damage that can lead to blindness and even Annually, up to 500,000 preschool children go blind from VAD, and about two-thirds will die within months of going blind.

Biofortification is the process of breeding new varieties of foods crops that contain higher amounts of nutrients to improve nutrition and public health. Agricultural approaches, such as biofortification, are now being looked upon to fill the nutritional gap for vitamin A and other nutrients.Traditionally, white or yellow sweet potato varieties are grown and eaten in Africa, but these provide little, or no, vitamin A. OSP was conventionally bred, not just to provide more vitamin A but also to be high yielding and drought tolerant.From 2007–2009, HarvestPlus and its partners disseminated new OSPvarieties to more than 10,000 farming households in Uganda for whom sweet potato is a key staple food.

The project provided OSP vines for farmers to grow, as well as extension services and nutritional information so that farmers could incorporate OSP into their cropping systems. Since sweet potato is available for about 10 months a year, it can be a rich and steady source of vitamin A.The project resulted in 61% of households adopting the vitamin A-rich OSP to grow on their farms. They were also willing to substitute more than one-third of their traditional white and yellow sweet potato consumption with OSP. This level of substitution was enough to push large numbers of children and women over the threshold, ensuring that their daily requirements for vitamin A were met.Vitamin A intake increased by two-thirds for older children and nearly doubled for younger children and women by project end. For children 6–35 months, who are especially vulnerable, OSP contributed more than 50% of their total vitamin A intake.The high prevalence of inadequate vitamin A intake among a subset of children 12–35 months who were no longer breastfeeding fell from nearly 50% to only 12% as a result of the project. This is a very positive finding as young children who have recently stopped breastfeeding are at higher risk of VAD. This is because breast milk has been their primary source of vitamin A and their vitamin A needs continue to be high.Researchers were also able to measure a small positive impact of eating OSPon the amount of vitamin A in the blood among children 5–7 years that had lower levels of vitamin A at the start of the project. At project end, researchers also found that women who got more vitamin A from OSP had a lower likelihood of having marginal VAD. (VAD was unexpectedly low among the women sampled in this study, thus making it harder to detect changes.)“Overall, these results add to the growing evidence base that OSP provides large amounts of vitamin A in the diet,” says Dr. Christine Hotz, former HarvestPlus Nutrition Head who led the nutrition study. “We were also able to show a modest increase in vitamin A blood levels among children, despite this being challenging to measure given the changing nutritional landscape over two years under real-world conditions.”This project was undertaken concurrently in Mozambique where results showed even higher levels of adoption—and consumption—of OSP by vulnerable households.“We now have evidence from two very different countries and contexts that show that farming households are willing to adopt OSP, incorporate it in their diets, and get the vitamin A that they need,” says senior IFPRI economist, Dr. Daniel Gilligan.HarvestPlus is now scaling-up OSP to reach another 225,000 households by 2016.

The International Potato Center (CIP) plans to scale-up OSP to reach more than 600,000 households in 10 countries by 2015, including 120,000 households in Mozambique.About the ProjectFrom 2007-2009, HarvestPlus and its partners disseminated orange sweet potato—to see if VAD could be reduced—to more than 24,000 households in Mozambique and Uganda. HarvestPlus leads a global effort to breed and disseminate micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce hidden hunger in malnourished populations. It is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). It is coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).Journal Article Introduction of β-Carotene–Rich Orange Sweet Potato in Rural Uganda Results in Increased Vitamin A Intakes among Children and Women and Improved Vitamin A Status among Children. Journal of Nutrition.Partners in Uganda Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and Regional Potato and Sweetpotato Improvement Network in Eastern and Central Africa (PRAPACE), Farming for Food and Development Eastern Uganda (FADEP-EU), International Food Policy Research Institute, International Potato Center (CIP), Makerere University, National Agricultural Research Organization, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO).

Thanks go to the district and provincial officials in Uganda (Bukedea, Kamuli, Mukono) and to the many people of Uganda who participated in the project and the research study.DonorsThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided a direct grant that made this research possible. Additional HarvestPlus core funding was also used to support this work, which included support from (in alphabetical order): Denmark (DANIDA), Sweden (SIDA), the Syngenta Foundation, the United Kingdom (DFID), the United States (USAID), and the World Bank.

Media ContactYassir Islam, Head of Communications (Washington, D.C.) y.islam@cgiar.orgTel: + 1 (202) 862-560

Monday, 19 August 2013

Pumping up potatoes for poor communities - iron biofortification

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world - affecting 50% of pregnant women and 40% of preschool children in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. Since potatoes are naturally good sources of iron, the International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIP) is working to add further nutritional value through breeding, or biofortification, of potato.

It is a very promising alternative for improving health in poor communities, where access to meat is limited and people cannot afford commercially fortified foods and vitamin supplements.The bioavailability of iron in potato is also important, and can be greater than that from cereals and legumes. Potatoes have high levels of ascorbic acid, which promotes iron absorption. They also have low levels of phytic acid, which inhibits of iron absorption. CIP efforts are focused on identifying and breeding varieties that are rich in both iron concentration and bioavailability.Health consequences of iron deficiency include impaired physical and cognitive development, increased risk of morbidity in children, and reduced work productivity in adults.

In the Peruvian highlands, up to 60% of preschool children suffer the stunting effects of malnutrition, with iron deficiency as the main contributing factor.The potato is recognized as a key food staple, but its potential for combating malnutrition is not well known or exploited. “For example, in Huancavelica in the Peruvian highlands, women and children consume an average of 800g and 200g of potato per day, respectively,” explains Gabriela Burgos, who leads the Quality and Nutrition Laboratory at CIP. “So improving iron concentrations and bioavailability in potato can have real impact in these areas.”Five years ago, with funding from the HarvestPlus program, CIP started to screen the potato germplasm in its genebank for micronutrients (iron, zinc, vitamin C, and phenolic). Initial screening of 579 native Andean potato varieties and 315 improved varieties showed a wide variation for iron and zinc concentration and a large genetic diversity that could be exploited in breeding programs.CIP agronomist Walter Amorós explains: “We selected a group of potatoes for their high levels of iron, and we have done a whole series of crosses with them and studied the progeny,” he says. “From a baseline iron content of 19mg / k, we’ve achieved levels as high as 40mg / k after two selection cycles.”The future challenge is to combine these cultivars with CIP’s advanced breeding lines that have disease and pest resistance, high yield, and high acceptance from farmers.

OutStanding in Their Fields (A poem for Farmers)

Out standing in their field, the old joke goes.
Farmers are their own breed to be sure.
Growing boys, and girls, strong and true.
Raising food, caring for the land – in their blood.
Outstanding in their fields, doing what they love.
Farmers are true to one thing, and one thing only.
Growing it better, one eye to the sky and one to ground.
Raising hopes, raising dreamers – in their hearts.
Out standing in their fields, eyes to those they love.
Farm wives washed in blood, sweat and tears.
Growing it at home, in the field and in their souls.
Raising it generation after generation – in their DNA.
Outstanding and insane, outstanding and obscure.
Farmers are a special breed, and so it should be.
Growing it started in God’s own first garden after all!
Raising hands deep in soil, blooded on the land. Forever.

By Shanyn Silinski & BrandonManitoba

Sunday, 18 August 2013

CBN Sets Upper Limits of Interest Rates at 9% For Microfinance Banks

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has disclosed that the N220 billion micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) fund will be accessed by Microfinance Banks (MFBs) at a maximum interest rate of nine percent.The fund was officially launched in Abuja Thursday.

The MFBs are in turn expected make the funds available for on-lending to young entrepreneurs, particularly businesses managed by women at reasonable rates.Sanusi, who inaugurated the facility at the 7th Annual MSMEs Finance Conference and D-8 workshop on microfinance for SMEs themed: "Strategies for Sustainable MSMEs Financing", said the fund would further boost access to finance by MSMEs by providing wholesale financing windows for participating financial institutions (PFIs) as well as improve their capacity to meet credit needs of MSMEs.

The central bank governor further said the initiative was expected to offer funds at reduced cost to PFIs and particularly improve access of women entrepreneurs to finance, reiterating that 60 per cent of the fund would be allocated to women.According to him, the intervention would also improve access of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to finance.Sanusi however, cautioned that MFBs' access to the fund would not be automatic as they would still need to apply for the fund and meet certain regulatory requirements including competence as well as a record of good behaviour.It was learnt that prospective beneficiaries of the fund would also need to present a three-year financial report.The CBN governor said it would be premature to estimate the actual economic impact of the fund because governments at all levels also needed to improve the state of infrastructure in their states in order to complement access to finance.Sanusi said as at 2012, the country had about 17.6 million MSMEs employing about 32.4 million people, who contribute about 46.54 percent of nominal GDP.However, citing a survey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2010, he said 80 per cent of the MSMEs were excluded from the financial markets.According to him, commercial bank loans to small scale enterprises declined from 7.5 percent in 2003 to only about 0.14 percent in 2012. He said: "A number of reasons have been proffered for this financing gap. The banks readily attribute their risk aversion stance for not lending to MSMEs to demand-side constraints, which include the lack of managerial capacity, inadequate collateral, and poor record keeping, amongst others."However, there also exist supply-side issues such as high transaction costs and lack of understanding by the banks of the nature and operations of MSMEs Other constraints plaguing the MSME sub-sector in Nigeria include infrastructure deficit (especially, power and transport), policy inconsistencies, bureaucracy, multiple taxation and levies, weak intellectual property protection and contract enforcement, and insecurity."

Meanwhile, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as well as the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso-all commended the CBN intervention fund in the MSME sector.Oshiomole at a joint media briefing shortly after the event, said the new MSME scheme showed that the CBN Governor was still in touch with the masses especially the youths and women in the country.He said the CBN must go beyond the launch and employ aggressive supervision to ensure that MFBs adhered to stipulated interest regime to customers if the scheme must succeed.Fayemi on his part said the fact that a huge chunk of the fund would be provide to women was a commendable move adding that women were key to economic development and poverty reduction in the country.The President, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Mr. Jethro Akun, welcomed the initiative stressing that it would provide liquidity and force down lending rates.More on ThisCBN Launches N220 Billion SMEs Fund At Nine Percent Interest Rate The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday launched a N220 billion fund to be distributed to Micro, Small and Medium Scale

Visiting A Farmer Training Centre -THE SONGHAI EXPERIENCE

 On the 23rd March earlier this year I was informed I would be joining the rest of the Youth Agro Entrepreneurs research on a farm visit. Below are excerpts of my report detailing my experience at Songhai farm in Porto Novo, Benin Republic.

The main objective of Songhai is to train young agricultural entrepreneurs who, once established, become pillars of community - capable of commanding respect and attracting the surrounding populations to the new kind of agriculture practiced on Songhai farm. This training does not stop with the acquisition and mastery of techniques of agricultural production. Songhai continuously follows up with its trained students from the pre-establishment stage through to the establishment of their farms and beyond. All the various departmental activities of Songhai converge directly or indirectly to these established farmers. At the second level of training, there is a team of workers charged solely with the follow-up/accompaniment of the farmers. This is the reason the farmers are situated at the center of Songhai's organizational chart - all the different sectors contribute to the development of the farmers.

Challenges Of Songhai

The Songhai Centre faces a few salient challenges operating under the present model as gathered from the visit.   Training program needs to incorporate Information Technology (IT) skills into the current syllabus to prepare the trainees for dealing with the present reality of entrepreneurship programs globally. The intriguing aspect to this issue is that, there is an Internet café present on the premises but only used for commercial purposes to cater to demands of visitors/tourists. Interviews with Personnel and Trainees indicate a wish to see this aspect of training introduced on the program.

The impact of the activities been carried out at the Centre, on the personnel and the immediate community can easily be noticed. Strategically located a few hundred metres away from Porto Novo's central market, it serves a useful source of obtaining foodstuffs and farm produce for retail purposes without incurring steep transportstion fees. Motivation was generally high amongst staff and all adhered to strict time managed regimes. The circular approcah to production adopted by the Integrated Farming model also extends to personnel. Staff rotation between various departments and sections of the farm created a high level of team spirit and commraderie. Individual staff all seemed to have sufficient information to be able to perform the duties of various department thus creating a very robust staff  pool. The challenges faced by the present operating model of the Centre need to be addressed in expansion or replicating of a similar enterprise. Information technology is ubiquitous to every sector of global economy. Developing agro entreprenuers that would go on to be successful and impact on their immediate societies, need to be IT savvy to a certain rudimentary level. Motivation amongst students and job security can be increased by deploying a model that allows the trainees to earn in the process of learning. Trainees with astute entrepreneural skills gain thus stand a chance of saving a kickstarter for their proposal, no matter how small it might be. The integrated farming model operated at Songhai Centre Porto Novo is a feasible approach to boosting the productivity of small to medium scale farming and developing a sustainable agricutural enterprises for the youths. Its a model that is gaining popularity fast and is evident in the profileration of its branches across neighbouring Nigeria and other West african countries. The future of integrated farming looks bright and I would recommend a visit to the nearest site to anyone interested in venturing into agro-entrepreneurship.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

PHASE II Of Growth Enhancement Support Scheme

The second phase of the growth enhancement support scheme was officially launched on the 5th of August 2013 in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja). Registered farmers within the FC T are now able to redeem fertilizers to help optimise the growth and production of cassava and soya-beans plant within the territory.
Farmers across the six area councils of Abuja have being receiving alerts via short message service (SMS) to inform them of the centres for claiming their supply of fertilizers. Soya-beans and cassava are two strategically placed crops of economic value with their high demand in manufacture of protein supplements in animal feed and pharmaceutical production respectively.

Farmers have been encouraged to grow these crops to maximise the profitability of their operations. Superperphospate (SPP) fertilizers are available for soyabeans while NPK 12:15:13 are for Cassavas. These carefully formulated fertilizers are suitable for boosting productivity of small scale farmers aiming to add their products to the production value chains. As with the earlier phase of GES, fertilizer redemption is controlled via mobile phone monitoring system supplied by Cellulant and only available to farmers with farm lands smaller than 3 hectares. Subsidies are 50%.

Youth Agro Entrepreneurs that have taken the step to registering their businesses to this scheme should hurry and get their products. The rains are pouring down in favourable quantities and the inputs are readily available, this should be a year of large harvests. Registrations are still on -going and would continue till the end of the year to become a registered farmer in Nigeria. Let’s get productive.

Business and Technology Amongst Young Agro-Entrepreneurs

Bit by bit, the agro-entrepreneurship visions being loaded into the minds and media channels of young people in Nigeria is beginning to seep its way into the information and technology market as it has managed in the past to penetrate other sectors of the economy.

Youths in Nigeria have being putting in major efforts to create a youth driven agricultural sector, and not suprisingly we are using our most potent asset as an anchor unto the field - social media, information and technology. The explosion of youth interest in agriculture in Nigeris has many roots and one major catalyst - unemployment. This catalyzing factor has led to a gradual gravitation of the mind set of young people towards creating our own jobs. In this brave new approach, the under-developed agricultural sector provides us with a relatively young and fertile pitching grounds (pardon the pun). Agricultural business is in need of major investment and infusion of fresh ideas fit for a 21st century economy. Informed and technologically savvy youths have lapped on to the opportunity to service this sector with information and internet support.

The link between timely and effective information sourcing to the performance of a business organization have been established. The agriculture sector firmly perched on the transformation bandwagon sweeping the country has relied on the support and technological skills of the Nigerian youth in setting up innovative ventures based around agro-consultancy using websites, blogspots amd social media. This young start-up companies provide services ranging from providing farmers with operational information on farm related issues, staff recruitment, training and even agronomic information.

In my work with YAE, I have come across quite a few very interesting agro-entrepreneurs whose activities rely heavily on the information and internet support to farmers and the farm business.

G6Farms. Is one of such companies. (

with their promise of prcesion solution for your growing needs, the comoany aims to to be recognized as the most highly respected agricultural Company in the world, leading and excelling in the programs and services delivered to meet the needs for the growing local and global food and agricultural systems. Their services include Aquaponics training;a revolutionary technological concept that was created as a way to mimic mutually beneficial natural system. In these system, plants within hydroponic components utilize nutrient rich fish waste as fertilizer,in doing so the plants grow serviced by wastewater allowing for its re-use in the fish-rearing component. They also do commodity marketing and general farm consultancy. .

Agropreneur Naija is the social media outlet for AGROPRENEUR NIGERIA an Agribusiness enterprise in Nigeria, West Africa.Our goal is to change the mind set of youth towards agriculture by promoting it as a business while at the same time providing support for start ups, existing young farmers and agro-entrepreneurs and sharing information and resources that create opportunities for growth, inspires and provides mentorship.

This budding field of enterprise has been aptly termed as Agricultural Communications, with academic courses in recognition of this niche market being offered by some institutions. Its an interesting point to note that most entrepreneurs and businesses involved in this area are currently operating in almost complete oblivion of each others works. There is a low level of self awareness amongst the social media population ofnigeria in comparison to entertainment, fashion and political activism bloggers.This low level of self awareness is indicative of the relative newness of these ventures. The main purpose of this article is to address this situation. Greater awareness of  agro-entrepreneurs amongst the online community of Nigeria will improve the practice, and  success of farming and agricultural business amongst youths.
Do you know any bloggers, startup companies, blogs and organizations involved with agro-entrepreneurships? Please do contact us or drop us a message on


Microfinance plays a key role in developing entrepreneurial activities in rural areas of emerging economies. This was why the team of the Youth Agro Entrepreneurs attended the round table briefings on the ethics and values for rural transformation through microfinance banks and industrial development cooperatives organised by the office of the special adviser on ethics and values to the Presidency.
The event was hosted at the International Conference Centre Abuja on the 13th of August 2013 at the Benue Hall venue. In attendance was an exhaustive list of dignitaries which included Dr Reuben M. Jaja, Chief Dr. A. Olu Aduloju, Hon. Chief Jethro M. Akun, Mr Haggai Gutap, Gabriel Owope, Maj. General Charles E. Airhiavbere and all the major microfinance banks in the country. The host was the outspoken and multilayered Dr Sarah Jibril.

Ethics and values are a slippery topic to discuss in any area of governance or administrative operation in Nigeria. While a general consensus is easily reached about the negative impact of operating financial institutions outside of the ethical frameworks, it becomes very opaque when specifics are discussed. The questions and answer sections of this round table briefing illustrated this once again. Issues about the percentages and interests rates to be charged by microfinance banks was met with answers that raised more questions than proffering clear insights into obtaining loans from microfinance banks to engage in rural based enterprises. Precious little time given to actual microfinance bankers to speak about how ethics and values would help build trust that is needed in providing these services to rural dwellers nor were we able to gain an insight into how one goes about setting up microfinance banks and their source of funds. The policy makers that spoke were all keen on regulating the activities of microfinance institutions and passionately in favour of a shift towards entrepreneurship. They just lacked the rigorous detail and clear data that a banking professional would have supplied to quell the worries of business owners interested in micro-financing. As a social innovation incubator interested in training entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, this was a drawback to the briefing and we had to resort to actively interviewing participants during the tea break to get what we needed to know. At the day’s end we were left wondering what the events management team and the technical aides to the policy makers had actually done to prepare their employees for this event.

Good policy makers enact and promote policies that help shape their societies. This requires a clearly functional system that compromises of a well informed and detailed backroom staff to provide the technical expertise in the areas the policies would affect. In a nutshell – policy makers are only as good as the staff/aides that work for them. For effective 21st century policy making, we need to raise the bar to a model of distributed systems where complexity is handled by sharing the workload to the margins rather than imposed from the centre – the brave new world of differentiation and dissolution is upon us.
What the event lacked in quality information was made up for by the networking opportunities provided by the meeting. We were able to meet with policies makers with clout and vision to help actualize our vision. Information not available through grand speeches was suddenly accessible and demystified in short personal exchanges. All and all, it was a productive days briefing for enthusiasts of rural development.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


The activities of the hub has being exciting and filled with enthusiasm.Pyakasa is a settlement along the Airport Road in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) about 3 kilometers from the overhead bridge at the Federal Housing Estate, Lugbe. The indigenes are predominantly farmers.
We began our activities with a visit to the village head Sarkin Fada Chief Shadrack Bari on the 19th July 2013. We addressed the village head on our activities. With no response from the elders we decided to focus on the youths which were our primary target audience. Our first meeting with the youths took place on the 24th of July 2013 at the Government Junior Secondary School, Pyakasa. Twelve youths from the community were in attendance. I informed the youths on the activities of YAE with the help of Mr. Emmanuel Edet an English teacher with the school. We owe a lot to the effort of Mr Edet.

To mark the launch of the YAE hub in Pyakasa, a semi- formal workshop was held on 2nd August, 2013 with the Communication Officer of YAE, Kabir Onimisi presenting an exciting presentation on the activities of YAE. The meeting was attended by sixteen (16) volunteers and Emmanuel Edet as the host. The youth asked diverse questions on Agro-business and enquired about other areas of entrepreneurship.

At the end of this inspiring workshop, representatives of the Hub were selected by the group and social innovation ideas to along the ideals of YAE were discussed by the young students. Two ideas were initiated awaiting further meetings and developments to be sure which to follow up on.

(1) The students suggested starting a co-operative farm together were they can work and practice the entrepreneurial skills they would hope to acquire under the YAE project
(2) The idea of marketing Moringa Oleifera plants that grew in abundance around Pyakasa village was also discussed.


1.The young person is always ready for change. The young people are ready for adventure and want to be financially independent of their parents

2.The old folks are carefuland more sceptical with trying anything new.

3.From the questions asked by our volunteers we have much work to do to bring about the revolution our social enterprise seeks to achieve in terms of providing them with exposure to business and entrepreneurial skill sets.

The Pyakasa Hub would be meeting twice a month

By Anngu Orngu
Co-ordinator YAE Volunteers Hub(Pyakasa)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Bad Market ( A short film on Agriculture )

Raja Obazele a seasoned and experienced film-maker from Abuja submitted this short film. this is an idea for a film he was working onwith Redstar Media an Abuja based outfit. The film highlights a very common problem experienced by farmers in Nigeria."

So we all know the story; farmer works haerd all season long to plant grains. The rains has being favourable, the soil is fertile and the harvest is looking like a profitable prospect. Every farmer should be happy - trhe hardwork has been done,its time to reap the financial benefit. But this is only half the story. The farmer needs to find a buyer.

The average small holder Nigerian farmer would typicvally rely on the servicce of a buyer who is usually a middle man to purchase their produce and resell to the community markets near the farm. This is usually where the problem lies. A high chunk of the profitsd accrued from selling agricultural produce is usually for the middleman to the loss of the farmer. This is a best case scenario. On the flipside, a large amount of crops and farm produce are sold at underwhelming prices or left to waste if the middlemen/marketers are not available to purchase from the farmer. Our farmers with limited business skills are left in the red.

There has being a call for government programmes and policies to provide a buffer program. Creating seeds and crops purchase and strorage centres that purchase excess seeds and off seaspon produce would make a world of difference. This would allow farmers and agriculturist to produce at optimum capacity without fear of wasting or under-pricing their efforts by the time the harvest season arrives.