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What govt can do to encourage transformation of subsistence farming into small, medium enterprises -Aniyikaye Abdul Ganiyu of Farmacy Farm

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ANIYIKAYE ABDUL GANIYU is the Managing Director of Farmacy Farm and Agro Company. In this chat with ISAAC NGUMAH, he talks about his farm business, challenges, prospects and what the government should do to encourage farmers. Read on:

Tell us about your farm business?

We are into crop production; we cultivate vegetables, cucumber, tomatoes, water melon, pepper and other vegetables. We are also into arable crops production like cassava, potatoes, maize and the likes. We are also into agro consultancy and farm setup. We set up farm for people, oil palm farm, cocoa farm, plantain farm and other cash crop farms. We also setup irrigation etc.

Tell us about your farm management?

Crop production is more practical; it needs more management. Apart from setting up for our client, we help them manage it; we follow it up. Sometimes we help our client get workers, farm managers and supervisors, while we visit the farm once in a while. Whenever there is time for weeding, we update them, we arrange workers that will do the weeding, we follow up if there is any pest in the farm; we prescribe the insecticide to use. When it is time for fertilization, we put their workers through on how to go about it. That is about farm setup.

Irrigation set up: We have issues of climate change, we have been having inadequate rain fall. So, this call for farmers to use irrigation system for their crops, which will enable them to be able to cultivate crops all year round, without depending on the rain, we setup all kinds of irrigation system.

As regards agro consultancy services: What we do in our office, whenever a farmer is facing challenges, they reach out to us for solutions. We offer solutions to farmers that will help them improve on their productions. We also offer training. We train farmers, we go to farm settlement; we educate them on the use of agro chemicals. We let them know how they can improve their crop to get better yields. We also train managers; we train students to let them know the beauty of agriculture and why they need to venture into agriculture.

How many people have you been able to set up and manage their farms?

I cannot count the number. They are many.

How many people have you been able to train on the farm management?

They are many; we don’t stop training farmers. Currently, we are training over 100 students in OAU for three months on vegetables, crop productions. It holds every Saturday for three months and it is free for students.

What are your impacts through your agric business?

We have a lot of student that we engage that after training and after their graduations they venture into farming. During their undergraduate days, they work with us, they follow us to do farm management etc. and also about farm managers, we have a lot of farm managers that we have trained and they have a lot of proprietors.

Why did you set up a farm venture?

I stay with my grandparent. My grandfather is a farmer and I have been working on the farm since I was young till date. I did not study agric in school; I studied Quantity Survey in my days. During my undergraduate, I also learnt from people who are in agriculture practically follow them up for farm set up. I go to free seminars and workshops. That is how I improved myself on agric business, I was born a farmer, my grandfather was a farmer and I have passion for it.

Tell us your focus in the industry?

My focus is mainly crops production and also along the line to export later. When I have the capacity to process, I will set up processing and packaging industry.

How long have you been in the farm industry?

I have been in the agriculture since I was young but I started officially since 2019.

Tell us your growth in the industry?

From someone who has been a learner; who has been able to establish its own vegetable farm that is fully irrigated, who own a pineapple farm, plantain farm, cocoa farm on a permanent land also offer agro services nationwide, I travel nationwide for agro services; go to as far as Abia State, Kebbi State and Uyo for irrigation set up, I also work with big farms.

What is your experience as a farmer?

As a farmer, it has been challenging, it has not been easy, what keeps me going is the passion I have for it.

Tell us your challenges in the industry?

High cost of input and logistic and finances, most of the loans (grants) that government gives out, fall into political farmers. They do not get to the real farmers, getting quality products, most of the products in Nigeria are not quality.

Is farm business a lucrative venture?

It’s a lucrative venture; you need money to get the right thing and knowledge to implement the capacity.

Is it capital intensive to start?

Very capital intensive but you can start small with N50,000.

How did you raise capital to start?

I raised money from my siblings and the money I realized from my work.

What can you say on the global food security crisis?

The global food security crisis is something that needs urgent  attention; they need to encourage farmers the more and they should implement policies that will help farmers and proper orientation of the youths in agric business.

What orientation can the government do to encourage youth in agric business?

They should stop all this paper work that they are doing and make it more practical. They should get the youths interested in agric business. They should have training programmes for at least three months. They should not give them cash, they can get them input; they can give them 30 per cent cash for running cost.

What can the government do to encourage the transformation of subsistence farming into small and medium enterprises?

They should have extensions officers; they should go to the rural farmers and educate them on the area they need improvement. When they know their problems, it is easy for them to provide solution.

What can you say about the challenge affecting food security in Nigeria?

Government should do the needful and farmers should also fence their farms.

What can you say on those who want to venture into agric business?

They should get the knowledge and come with enough money. It will help.

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