A World Bank assisted programme in Africa, West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), has revealed that farmers do not need huge capital to be successful and maximise profit in agriculture.
This was stated during the last World Bank Support Mission visit to the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA) adopted communities and schools, where it lauded the various projects embarked upon by WAAPP-FECA.
Leader of the delegation, Prof. Victoria Ayuba, said the level of projects going on was a pointer to the fact that people can start making profit in agriculture if they start with little capital.
Ayuba, who is the current Dean, College of Forestry and Fishery, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, encouraged the people, especially the youth, that they could utilise the opportunities in the sector to be employers of labour.
“Many people often complain that finance is the major constraint against their involvement in the scheme, but I can tell you emphatically, that is not true. With very little money, they can start something very big in agriculture,” she said.
The team was led by FECA Provost, Dr. Samson Odedina to inspect the institution’s agroshop and Biofort Restaurant, where the college community and students enjoy several agro-products value chain opportunities.
Also, the Agricultural Research Outreach Centre (AROC) in Owode, Ibulesoro, Eleyowo were visited to inspect the fisheries, cassava value chain opportunities; and the adopted School, Aquinas College, Akure, where the students (Young Farmers Club) too are making money in agro-products.
The Dean noted that the essence of the visit was to evaluate and assess what the institution is doing with the World Bank assisted programme with member-countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to make agriculture more sustainable and productive.
“We have come to see the bio-gas being used in Ibulesoro; we have been to other places and we have seen how the farmers have adopted what they have been taught by the specialists and to see how the money that was given to them has been utilised.
“The story has been a successful one. The assessment has been wonderful; we went to the garri processing units and they are doing very marvelously well in terms of value added to the garri production, farmers’ empowerment, women that buy from the farmers and the marketers at various levels.”
According to them, “the farmers are already expanding on their own; all that WAAPP did was just to train them, they took the training and begin to adopt it, training themselves with it.
“So, they are expanding on their own; even if there is no WAAPP today, there is no cause for alarm because they are doing what they are supposed to do with very small capital: money is entering their pockets in several ways.”