If there’s any actor along the value chain who must not be deprived of making enough profit, it is the farmers (primary producers).
The reason is obvious: without them, no other actor along the value chain can exist.
A critical survey of countries that have gained some level of food security reveals that there’s a direct relationship between the well-being of farmers and the availability of food. When farmers are economically stable as a result of making a good profit from their agribusiness, there tends to be more available food.
When farmers make the right profit, it will motivate and empower them to expand and produce more. It will also create a ripple effect, as more people will begin to play and/or invest reasonable sum in the primary production part of the value chain as a result of its attractiveness.
But the question is, How can farmers make more profit or at least make the right profit from their labour? Simply put, how can we make agribusiness work for them?
My first answer is in a single word – Leverage. If the sector must make use of most of its opportunities and be successful, the power of leveraging can’t be overemphasized. The same thing applies to our farmers. The question is, What is that thing that our farmers can offer that others do not?
Like the biblical Moses, what is the rod in the hands of our farmers, I mean the African farmers?
Many people think farmers are at the mercy of other actors along the value chain, and even farmers believe that there’s nothing they can leverage on to negotiate a better deal.
But I beg to disagree. The African smallholders may not have the financial strength or formal education, but they sure have few things they can leverage on.
These are but not limited to…
1. The number strength: There are over 80 million smallholders in Nigeria. That’s around 40% of the total population. If the farmers can pull their numerical strength together, they can become not just a voice but a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian economy.
Unfortunately, this is not happening in Nigeria, at least not to a reasonable extent. That is why Ajaoko has designed a model to make it happen.
Through our Agribusiness Cluster, we aggregate farmers and facilitate collaboration and combination among them and other actors in the value chain. Through this model, farmers are able to have seamless access to input at a very favorable price, access to tailor-made technical support, as well as finance and ready market.
Through this cluster, farmers will be able to make more profit, which, as stated earlier, will drive food security in Nigeria.