Exploring post-retirement low-risk agric businesses

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Packed eggs PHOTOS: Femi Ibirogba

If you do not plan, life after retirement from active civil, public or private services can become gray, unproductive and financially stressful. FEMI IBIROGBA writes about the enterprises of the agro-industrial sector after retirement, which serve two purposes in the field of fitness and financial freedom.

Agriculture, especially in low-resource countries, where low income, poor agronomic practices and rain farming prevail, is associated with a high level of risk, creating uncertainty about returns, success rates, capital security and investment returns. civil servants or people approaching retirement tend to be averse to risky enterprises, making agriculture usually homeless, despite its financial and health potential.

In one of the business risk theories, it is postulated that as the investor approaches the resignation, he moves to the stage of spending. He has daily life expenses covered by pensions and other flows, provided he is invested in a stable stable income. He does not need to speculate aggressively. It follows that he is likely to become more risk-averse because he decides to place investments only in assets with a relatively low risk that can exceed inflation.

Nevertheless, there are low-risk, income-producing and less-vigorous agricultural enterprises that people who retire or are on the verge of retirement in Nigeria can do to avoid financial dependency, an unhappy and sedentary lifestyle.

Agrobusiness with a low level of risk
From the experience of farmers, agricultural researchers and agro-entrepreneurs, goods aggregation, animal feed distribution, raw material supply, greenhouse, food operations and grain storage in different seasons, among others, are low-risk but moderately useful businesses.

Pet food
Feeds for animals, especially for poultry, are high-speed goods if the outlet is closer to poultry farms. Become a major distributor for leading feed manufacturers, albeit with a low return rate, with little risk, and guarantees a very reliable and predictable revenue stream. This is different from the combination of raw materials. Feed milling requires the purchase of feed ingredients, capital for hammer mills and mixers, as well as for the production of electricity or electric generators. This is a capital-intensive business, and for success it needs nutritional and other expertise. The largest forage harvesters have the ability to produce, while distribution for them is a business with a low level of risk, which potential pensioners can potentially take advantage of.

Co-founder J & S Agro Ltd, Ilorin, Ozigi Salami, who is a major distributor of Hybrid Feeds, told The Guardian that although the profit margin is very low (in the area of ​​one or two percent), the good thing about business is the stability of returns, because birds will always consume feed. In addition to profit margins, a discount is given to the dealer who sells the indicated amount for the quarter.

As for capital requirements, Salami said that the minimum pension size can be invested from N1.5 to N2 million, in order to get maximum benefits. However, he added, you can start from the level of N300,000 or N400,000. He said that business premises should be located closer to the clusters of poultry farms. Another distributor of animal feeds in Ibadan, Oyo, Mr. Pelumi Adecunl, operator of Moore Agric Services, told The Guardian that for three months he also receives a subsidy of N10 per bag sold in one month. This, he added, is different from the rate of return in the amount that can range from N50 to N100. Adecunl said that this would require at least $ 3 million to make the business convenient, and admitted that not only retirees, but also young people can do business.

Farm Supplies
FARM inputs include agrochemicals, seeds, agricultural tools, fertilizers, wear and packing materials. Agrochemicals, such as insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers, among others, are always in great demand in the dry season. Farm tools, including perch, hoes, boots, gloves and sprayers for a knapsack are also fast moving products. Equipment for poultry farming, such as transport cells, feeders, drinking bowls, boxes and veterinary medicines, is less risky and quickly sold. Improved seeds of corn, soybeans, cowpea, okra, pepper, tomatoes, as well as coconut, orange, papa and mango seedlings can mean serious business. The combination of the foregoing in a department store will really deal with a professionally oriented pensioner, constantly earning a living, doing physical exercises and maintaining mental alertness.

Marketing of raw and processed foods
MARKETING and the sale of raw and processed foods can become a serious matter for the retired. Call it a product selling fresh fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, plantain and banana, packaged palm oil, harry, fuf, lafun, apu, bean flour and other processed foods that can cause the pensioner to generate money steadily. In cities and especially in rich neighborhoods, selling apples, cucumbers, sweet melons, watermelons, peanuts and cashew nuts, decently packaged eggs, sweet peppers, exotic tomatoes, and others can mean millions of Naira per year for the retired.

In addition, root crops and tubers, such as sweet potatoes, yams and cocoas, are food crops that Nigerians like to eat, and selling them in large or small amounts will definitely attract patronage. Industrially processed foods such as seeds, corn, wheat and yams powder, and plantain flour are part of the daily products sold in all parts of the country.

Greenhouse cultivation
GREENHOUSE technology in agriculture is a revolutionary device that allows a farmer to make maximum use of limited resources to obtain optimum yields. The earth is very well used; cultivation occurs with drip irrigation, and with this, annual planting is the norm. According to the Integrated Project Manager, "Sustainable livelihoods," Dizengoff Nigeria, Mr. Oscar Valumbe, "The greenhouse environment is essentially a controlled environment that limits the devastating effects of insect pests and diseases that devastate vegetables, including tomatoes . "It does not feed on rain, but feeds on the brain, since it comes with an individual system of drip irrigation. With a small amount of land and water, you will surely get a much higher income than your traditional outdoor release. "

The greenhouse is used for the production of sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet melon, pumpkin flute and many other vegetables. Greenhouse area of ​​8 mx 24 m (less land) yields up to four tons of tomatoes, for example, in a six-month season. For comparison: traditional cultivation of tomatoes with an open field with the best agricultural methods yields a maximum of seven tons per hectare (10,000 m2). It is obvious that a greenhouse, replicated per hectare, yields about 133 tons of tomatoes, which is 19 times higher than the traditional open field culture.

Humphrey Otalor, Communications and Marketing Manager, Nijiang Dizengoff, said that a farmer with good practice can record two metric tons (2000 kg) of bell pepper per year. According to him, a kilogram of pepper is sold around N800. This would give the farmer at least 1.1 million people for seven months.

Cassava breeding
For relatively young and more energetic retirees, entering into mechanized production of cassava is not only useful, but also without stress. The coordinator of the Cassap project and the agricultural industry project (CAMAP) of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Mr. David Ohmouumi, Ioedele, urged investors to explore the unlimited opportunities for profit in the production of cassava.

"All entries used properly are the maximum to invest 150,000 yen, and you should expect at least a net profit of N300,000 per hectare. This means that you can sell cassava in the amount of 450,000 per hectare, which is minimal, "Ayodele said. The Cassava Regional Coordinator: Adding Value to Africa (C: AVA), Professor Kolavole Adebayo, also told The Guardian that C: AVA links are producers of finished-market farms for their products. In addition to industrial processors, small processors that produce garri, lafun and apu are ready-made harvest buyers. There is no dull moment in the sale of cassava roots.

Storage
The seasonal shortage of some products presents opportunities for Nigerians, including those who have left or are about to leave active work. Grains such as corn, millet and others; beans, palm oil, melons and dry peppers could be bought, stored and transported to cities where they are needed outside the season. The palm oil dealer in Ibadan, who did not want his name printed, confessed to The Guardian that he had borrowed about N1 million from his friend in 2016, bought a few gallons of palm oil from Okiti-Pupa in Ondo, was kept for four months and realized a net profit of 1.5 million people. He regretted that he did not buy more, he said, he could get a higher profit if he did it. He advised pensioners to buy non-perishable agricultural products and sell them during deficit, assuring that the worst scenario will be sold without profit.

Services on hiring of tractors
TRACTOR and other services for hiring agricultural equipment are currently not enough in the country, as the focus gradually shifts from daily subsistence allowances to commercial agricultural enterprises. Commercial farming requires mechanization in preparation, planting, protecting crops and harvesting. Some Savannah ecological conditions of the North and North-Central zone of the countries contribute to the production of grain and biennial cultivation of crops, which requires regular preparation and planting of land. Pensioners in these zones can have their hands for the full hiring of tractors and other agricultural equipment for commercial farmers. According to the engineers of the National Center for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM), Ilorin, a very good tractor lasts more than 20 years, earning money for the owner, if maintained very well. One of the NCAM engineers, Mr. Tope Falley, taking The Guardian around the premises, said that some tractor has been operating for more than 15 years without any repairs or replacements in its engine.

Although capital-intensive, the tractor will have about six months of work per year and can do more where irrigation facilities are available. As capital, N10 to N12 million will be required. To buy a tractor with basic implements such as arable plant, harrowing and spinal tools, among others. Agriculture represents the potential for a double benefit from generating income and maintaining physical activity after retirement. Therefore, careful planning by those who are on the verge of retirement and those who already exist can help alleviate the emotional and financial burden associated with poor living conditions after many years of work.

However, those who intend to embrace agriculture after retirement should seek consultation, knowledge and research opportunities. Training is very important. When you decide to retire, you will remain with this advice from George Clason, author of The Rich Man in Babylon: "To insure income for your future. Look at the elderly and do not forget that in the following days you will also be numbered among them. Therefore, invest your treasure with great care, so that it will not be lost … "The lawyer with wise people! Look for advice from men whose daily work processes money …. A small return and a safe is much more desirable than risk. "

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