Thursday, September 12, 2013

Niji Farms encourages Agripreneurs’ interest in agriculture

IITA Agripreneurs and Malawian farmers in group photo at
Niji Farms

A learning visit to the cassava farm, over 3000 ha, owned and managed by a young Nigerian, Mr Kola Adeniji, was tiring but also inspiring.

Mr Adeniji , who sits at the head of the Board of Niji Farms, is one of those successful young farmers in Nigeria.

He told the visitors, “We are redefining agriculture… many people look down on farmers but we want to change that.”

The factory processes cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), odourless fufu flour, and gari. The gari and fufu are exported to countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. Apart from having a vast hectarage , Niji Farms is fully automated, yet built on indigenous technology.

“We believe that what is needed to develop Africa is in Africa… so we try as much as possible to have 100 percent local content,” Mr Adeniji said.

The visit gave the Agripreneurs the opportunity to have an overview of Niji farm, to see how Mr Adeniji managed his farm, and also the types of machinery he used for the processing of food products.

Mr Adeniji noted that he was inspired to invest in agriculture after coming in contact with IITA and thanked the Institute for supporting his farm with improved cassava planting materials.

Although the farm mostly grows cassava, Mr Adeniji has also forayed into growing maize and keeping livestock.

“I am looking at integrating all the areas of agriculture … to making a model farm,” he said.

IITA Agripreneurs who visited the farm testified that the farm is a perfect example, demonstrating that agriculture indeed pays off.

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