With our undaunted commitment to insight and inform youth and the diaspora about the importance of agriculture in leveraging the Nation’s economy, to get them participates in agriculture, Agric Income team decided to embark on educative farm tours. This informed our choice of visiting a well renowned farm in Osun State. The courtesy visit took us to Agrikk Matas Ede, Osun State. I have the honour to present to you the CEO of Agrik Matas, also the President All farmers Association of Nigeria Osun State Chapter… Read further as you get to know more about him.
Agricincome: Please can you introduce yourself to our readers and your farming background?
Agrik matas: my name is Farmer Afolabi Kayode, I graduated from Osun State college of Arts (OSSCA) in 1986. Progressed to University of Ibadan where I graduated in1989. N.Y.S.C 1989/90. P.GD, Public Administration in O.A.U.
M.Sc., Pub. Admin in O.A.U, 1996/1998
M.B.A in O.A.U 1998-2000. Presently, I am undertaking my Ph.D. at a university in U.S.A.
I graduated about 30years ago with a strong conviction of not to work under anybody. That has been my vigour, though I’ve wandered in so many trades and businesses. I firstly started as a photographer, then onto merchandising, Coca-Cola distributor, guest housing and table water production. Lastly into cinematography, which I later resorted into fish farming, and today, Agrik Matas. Fish farming is the genesis of Agrikk Matas farm. It was established on February 13th, 2014. At first when I started, I incurred #600,000 into fish farming with 3000 juvenile. I realised #15,000 (more or less a loss). I felt so bad but I stayed determined. Consequentially development set in and today Agrikk Matas stand on a land mass of 20 acres. Today, the farm has developed into extensive livestock and crop production. Now, we are into:
¤ Massive crop plantation – oil palm, cocoa and cassava plantation. Also tomatoes and pepper plantation.
¤ Commercial fish, cassava and mushroom production and processing.
¤ Nursery/seedlings for cash crops, tomato and pepper.
¤ Plantain plantation
¤ Piggery, goat and ram rearing and poultry.
¤ Fish hatching and juvenile sales
¤ Product and agrochemical sale and many more.
¤ We are also into training and consultancy.
Agricincome: How long have you been in the business?
Agrik matas: 12 years
Agricincome: What’s is the secret of the success you have achieved so far?
Agrik matas: The Grace of God, perseverance, and strong determination to succeed
Agricincome: What were the main challenges you face since the inception of your business?
Agrik matas: Number one challenge is funding and the second challenge is unfavourable government policies.
Agricincome: How can youth be encouraged into practising agriculture?
Agrik matas: One of the sure way it can be done is through training and empowerment programmes for youth passionate about farming. Government should provide capital, training and empowerment programmes for youths should more or less be free.
Agricincome: What advice would you give to youths seeking a career in agribusiness?
Agrik matas: Check your passion before venturing into Agriculture.
. Search where your passion fits. Don’t be enticed with quick money, though it pays. Gain comes overtime.
• Get a mentor
Agricincome: A lot of people think that agriculture is a quick way to get rich, what is your stand about this?
Agrik matas: This depends on the level at which you invest and your managerial ability. Even the lazy wants riches. It could be and it couldn’t be. It could get you -rich-fast if you cultivate products like vegetables that grows for 6-8weeks or agro processing…but for cultivation of cash crop, you’d wait for at least two or three years.
Agricincome: what are the marketing strategies adopted at Agrikk matas?
Agrik Matas: we have several market channels in Osogbo and other locations. It is also important that you do a market survey, even before starting up the business.
Agricincome: Thank you for your time sir
Agrik Matas: You are welcome