Why Agriculture Is The Next Big Thing For Entrepreneurs And Investors To Consider
Agriculture is a broad industry and it is about time we started seeing it as being worthy of huge investment. Most times when we hear or talk about agriculture, the images we create in mind are that of some poor local farmers who are working tirelessly on the village farms. This would be a lopsided view of the modern-day farming in its proper context. There is more to farming than we see on the surface. Agriculture holds and promises a bright future for Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, but many people are oblivious of this fact. All they want to do is go to school and study, graduate and get a white-collar job. There is no crime in being educated. But who says you cannot be educated and invest in agriculture at the same time?
Since the discovery of oil, Nigeria has neglected agriculture and it is almost totally relegated to the background, giving little or no concern to the industry. This immediately explains why a country like Nigerian and many other African countries spend a lot of money on food importation. This is quite absurd and uncalled for. A country like Nigeria has everything it takes to produce her own food and still have much more left to be exported. Recall that in the 1960s, Nigeria was given the appellation, “Giant of Africa” in that she had a very strong economy back then, which was built mainly through agriculture. But with the discovery of oil, attentions were shifted from agriculture to oil and Nigeria agricultural production dropped.
Nigeria who used to produce about 18 percent of global cocoa can now barely produce up to 8 percent because of the way we have neglected the agricultural sector. However, there are some set of entrepreneurs who are divergent in their view of agriculture and are not thinking like many Nigerians and Africans. They have seen the bright future for agribusiness and they are investing in it.
Do you know that Africa sits on an agribusiness goldmine but most people just don’t see it? If you’re one of those who are blind to the wealth of agriculture in Africa, allow me to open your eyes to some exciting facts you need to know about agribusiness in Africa.
Do you know that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, recently invested $1 billion in rice production? Every year, Africa spends billions of dollars on rice imports, and Dangote surely could see an opportunity to leverage on and wanted to capture some of the market.
Do you know that since 2009, investors in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of African land for agricultural purposes? Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign investors for African land, and it is for agricultural purposes.
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Do you know that Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness was $10 billion in 2010 and is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? Agriculture is taking a huge leap in Africa and wise investors are positioning themselves to take their share.
Do you know that Africa’s agribusiness industry will be worth $1 trillion by 2030, according to reports? That’s huge! If this projection by the UN comes true, agribusiness will become the ‘new oil’ in Africa!”
If the UN can predict Agriculture to be the way out in the future, and even rich men are already investing, what then are you waiting for? Below are some of the reasons why you should consider investing in agriculture as an entrepreneur.
- Abundance of cheap and fertile lands: Africa as a whole has favorable environments for growing crops. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of food crops eaten around the world can be best grown in Africa considering the climate environment. And to make things easier, the cost of acquiring farm lands in Africa is so cheap and this is due to the fact that farm lands are situated in rural areas or villages . These lands are one of the most fertile you can find anywhere in the world. According to Sub-Saharan Africa, 50 percent of the most fertile ground in the world can be found in Africa. What better place is there to cultivate? As an investor, if you start considering the industry now, your chances of losing are very low, because everything needed for smooth agricultural production is present in Africa complemented by a good climate of sun and rain when due
- The business is in demand: in business, anything that is demand is regarded as being essential to consumers. Food is an essential part of life and humans cannot do without food which is why agribusiness entrepreneurs can never lose. There are about 1 billion people in Africa with Nigeria dominating a greater part of the population at 200 million. The inhabitants will continue to demand for food produce which is a good catch for agribusiness entrepreneurs. Africa spends billions on the importation of food crops which it could produce by itself, Instead of spending on foreign food, investors could start a trade in agriculture. This will be beneficial especially in years to come when Africa’s population would have reached over 2 billion (2050).
- Improved farming experience due to Technology: if you have been skeptical of investing or starting an agribusiness because you think the harvests are not encouraging, you might well be changing that mentality now. Because like technology is improving every other industries, it is improving the agricultural sector such that you can now get a bountiful harvest from whatever crop you plant. This is a positive step for agriculture and you have to consider the business before it gets too competitive.
- Cheap to start: agribusiness is one of the businesses you can start with a very low capital. You don’t have to be a millionaire or a billionaire before starting an agribusiness. You can start small. That vacant plot of land in your house can be used as farm, even your backyard. You don’t know what returns you will get from your investment some time from now.
Investing in agriculture or starting an agricultural business now is very profitable, because the industry is a multibillion dollar industry in the future, and the only way you can be part of that industry when the time comes is by investing now. Just like billionaires and millionaires can invest in the business, so also can the common man. There are no barriers.
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