One thing that is giving Nigeria and Africa in general hope is the fact that the youths are gradually taking to agriculture and letting go white collar jobs as they now see that food is essential and what is most needed to stay alive in the whole world, which is why we are begging to see great changes in food production especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeing how young farmers can be brought to limelight, Farmer Square which seeks to build a strong agribusiness network along the value-chain across Africa, had an online interview with young female farmer, Amaka Chukwudum, CEO Farm Mondiale, who took them through her journey to farming and obstacles she scaled through towards achieving her farming aim and was monitored by brandafriq.com.
Read excerpts below;
How have you been running the farm despite the ongoing COVID-19 global crisis?
It’s been very challenging with logistics. Most worker dropped their gaurd as I cannot visit frequently as supposed due to high cost of logistics. This has resulted to massive loss to my poultry business.
What measures have you employed to handle this?
I have increased the number of visits made by my supervisors to the farms that has animal husbandry. We also stepped up in Bio security, stopped every kind of visits by external bodies to the farm for now.
When you set out to start Farm Mondiale, what gap were you aiming to fill in the agriculture value chain?
Growing up under farmers and visiting other states that practice Agriculture, I saw that many farmers are growing food the wrong way which is not good for the health of our nation. So I aim to see that people are provided with healthy food.
Asides from animal husbandry, what other forms of agriculture is farm Mondiale involved in?
We do both animal husbandry and crop farming We are also into export of agro commodities We set up farms for people in any state We grow/package our rice, garri, spices, essential oils, honey, tamarind, stevia, veggies & body care products.
As a woman in agriculture, how has the experience been with Farm Mondiale in a male dominated field?
Agriculture requires energy and it’s not been easy but it’s not impossible, however, the men in the industry has been helpful. I also found out I am naturally gifted with unique energy.
Studies show women in Agriculture suffer the disadvantage of lacking access to both fund & labour. How have you been able to manage well?
I have tried accessing loan from Bank of Agriculture and the experience was a painful one, however, my major funding came from long term saving, friends and family. I use my experience to gather resource.
From experience, what are solutions that can be employed to bridge the gender gap in agriculture in order to build sustainable futures for women?
Amenities to ease the stress of women and make the job easier is better such as tractor need to be provided by the government.
Finally, land is a major part of agriculture & the cultural system in lots of African societies does not allow women to own land, how can this be addressed?
I experience it at the beginning of my venture, but what I did was to register my Farm and use it to buy all my lands. So I used Amicable Mondiale Farms to buy all my landed properties.