I’ve been away for a while trying to get trained up and build my knowledge on agriculture. I’ll have to do a separate post on my training. Anyway let’s get down to business, like literally 🙂
So I have been doing a lot of talking about the potential of agriculture and the business opportunities that exist within the sector. I’ve visited a number of farms, some have inspired me and some have dismayed me. So I decided to start my own farm. It’s been a challenging and humbling experience. The bottom line is that starting a business in Lagos Nigeria is not a joke. In a World Bank report on doing business around the world, Nigeria ranked 147 out of 189 countries (2013 it was 138). Well this only re-emphasises my point of doing business in Lagos is not a joke. Nevertheless it is possible… so here’s my journey so far.
Before going away on my training I commissioned a contractor to help prepare the land for planting of cassava. The size of the land is approximately 1.23 hectares. Land preparation typically involves bush clearing, removal of stones and rocks, ripping, ploughing, harrowing and levelling the field to make it suitable for crop establishment. Cassava is not the crop we intend to grow long-term but we wanted to start work on the land while we use the 10 months gestation period to prepare and plan for what we intend to grow.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing. The contractor promised to get the land ready in 1 week but it took 4 weeks. After the 4 weeks although he claimed to have ‘completed’ the job, the land was definitely not ready for planting. Below are pictures of the land which was apparently ready for planting
So we are driving away terribly disappointed thinking about our next move, in terms of looking for another contractor and making sure we plant our cuttings before they rot. Did I mention that our contractor delivered our cassava cuttings to another farm. Anyway we are driving along and BAM we see a farm that looked just like we expected our farm to look…. That’s me and my biggest investor on the strangers’ farm 🙂
So we decided to use this as a template for the next contractor. It’s not perfect but it is much better than our farm.
I will talk about the expenses and lessons learnt in the next post. Thanks for stopping by 🙂