First of all…let me thank you for your patience and let me apologise for the longggg silence. It been a minute and I’ve received some messages asking me why I haven’t updated in longggg time. My pipu it is not my fault the hustle is REAL yo!
This year has been all kinds of crazy…first of all let me give a shout out to all the agripreneurs and entrepreneurs out there trying to make a difference, trying to make that paper, trying to put food on the table, trying to keep body and soul together…… I ‘tuale’ aka hail all of you, we are the real MVPs. This hustle is real!!! I don’t say this lightly…
So let me tell you about my year so far….
I already told you about losing all my staff in the previous post, “das how dey jus plan coup for me sha…diaris God”. Think we went through like 5 different workers before we settled on Taiwo and Kehinde (Twins) after I told you people not to hire people from the same family and I now go and hire twins, I’m too funny right, ‘na condition make crayfish bend’. That just goes to show that sometimes rules might have to be broken but for very good and justifiable reasons. However I have 3 different sets of 2, so no how no how they can’t all plan coup for me 🙂 . So we changed our recruitment strategy a little bit, I have partnered with Lagos State Polytechnic to take on students for 4 months and 1 year. We currently have 4 of them. Too early to give feedback….
So new gist…. After we finally rebuilt our staff base…the dreaded TUTA ABSOLUTA showed up. That was my worst fear and it happened. I was so sad but I welcomed the opportunity to learn, who are we fooling I was super sad. When we discovered it in one greenhouse it was already too late, we were treating something else meanwhile tuta was thriving…just jollificating and laughing at me. So we eventually had to terminate the tomato plants in that greenhouse to avoid it spreading to the other houses. As a result of this we slowed down production in order to control the pest. My pipu the tuta got into the other greenhouses o, we were able to control it better but in the end tuta won the battle, as I type we are terminating the tomato plants in 2 green houses and I will not be planting tomatoes for a few months to get rid of the pest. Our yield dropped by 62.5%, which translates to earning 62.5% less in revenue. It sucks on every level but tuta might have won the battle but I will win the war… (In my mind I sound like Russell Crowe in Gladiator 🙂 )
As we were recovering from all this we find out that the cover of some of our green houses were badly damaged and needed to be replaced…imagine that. Luckily for us Dizengoff gave us a replacement for 1 but we had to handle installation cost and we still have 2 that need to be fixed. But it’s not an urgent need
So as if that one was not enough that is how my borehole stopped working. Let me put this in perspective, water is the most important thing on a farm and we ran out because the borehole stopped working. At that point I was certain that my enemies were actively working. So me sef I had to “gbera” that’s Yoruba for wake up I think 🙂 We tried all kinds of things to get it up and running but it was money down the drain. In the end we HAD TO drill another borehole. So let’s put things in perspective my revenue has reduced significantly and my expenses has increased significantly. Guys do the maths. Please bear in mind that everything has also become more expensive, seeds, fertilizer, fuel, pesticides etc. You can now see that my enemies are working…lol. For my awesome readers that are not aware, Nigeria is in a recession.
Girls like to cry and so I did my own fair share of crying but the problem was, when I was done crying I was still broke. That was a rude awakening and then I will cry some more… Well your home girl humbly went and got a part time job because we all know no bank was going to give me a loan and I didn’t even want to have that burden and extra pressure on me. So I come from a short line of entrepreneurs. My dad is also an entrepreneur and I’m a highly skilled farmer aka I’m a chartered management accountant with international and local experience in technology, banking, gambling and not for profit sector who happens to be a farmer 🙂 . He needed help and I needed money, a match made in heaven (working for your dad is ….). When you have to ask your dad that you were doing shakara for, for a job, please be rest assured that the hustle just got really real yo!!!
It hasn’t been all bad; I’ve learnt a lot of lessons, met a lot of people and gotten to know myself a little bit more. To everybody on this entrepreneurship journey, remember that we will have a lot of low points but you have to keep pushing, after spending all that time and money you want to quit?? Heck no, we came to win and if we haven’t won, I guess it’s not over and we have to keep pushing.
You have to connect with people that will cushion your fall and help you through the storm.
It’s all well and good to complain but please abeg don’t remain in that space or state of mind for too long. It’s therapeutic but it doesn’t change a damn thing.
I’ll see you at the top!
Thank you guys for sticking around and taking time to read 🙂
I’m on IG as @nextgenaffarmer