PRESENTATION TWO: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
BY Dr. O.O. AdeOluwa.
Organic Agriculture has various advantages over the conventional agriculture and the exponential increase in the demand for organic products therefore there are several business opportunities available to venture into in order to meet up with the demands of agricultural products and produce. Understanding the dynamics of any agricultural product in terms of best methods of production and identifying where it really needed enhances the lucrativeness of any agricultural enterprise. Meekness, credibility and years of exposure is required to sustain these businesses.
There are various business opportunities in organic agriculture among such business opportunities are;
- Crop production
- Animal production (domestic, aquatic and wild such as bee(honey and wax), mushroom, games, etc).
- Handling of organic products (middle men)
- Processing of Organic products such as use of orange peels to produce oil, cosmetics, food, drinks, clothes from organic cotton,etc.
- Organic inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.
- Production of Machineries used in organic farms.
- Use of crop waste in the production of oil e.g. orange peels for oil production.
- Production of organic cosmetics.
- Organic extension agents.
- Organic teachers/lecturers/farmers.
- Project/proposal development.
- Participant in ECOWAS organic agriculture trade in West Africa.etc.
- Organic tools and implement such as processing and storage facilities.
- Certification and accreditation.
- How do you manage weed in a ginger farm?
- Can bees be raised in a house and be regarded as organic?
- Proper/deep tillage at the beginning of the planting season to break roots of stubborn weeds, reducing the planting distances also help: it may be difficult to weed with hoe in the first weeding but by the subsequent weeding the leaves of the ginger would have covered up and weeds would have been reduced by then.
- Bees may be raised in the house if the farmer can provide the bees with all its needs in it.
Some farmers shared their experiences and challenges among them were:
Mrs. ShonoiliSaidat from grenskill enterprise said that an animal nutritionist by training, when she had discovered the harm in consumption of the conventionally raised birds she decided to look for alternative situations. She discovered that why people that buy chicken in large quantity like hotels do not patronize local chicken breeds is that they are small, take time before they are properly cooked and seasonings do not penetrate them on easily. Understanding the dynamics of the business, she decided to order for foreign organic breeds which are big and soft then compounded feed from organic sources for them with organic antibiotics and still obtain the same results as gotten from the conventional in eight weeks and she was able to sell those birds as organic birds. She also raises this birds in a semi intensive system exposing these birds to a variety of organic herbs for them to feed on. She has an organic shop and this made her meet with various farmers and consumers who are willingly to go into organic agriculture.She also suggested that an organic storage facility should be provided in the country at different locations to encourage better storage of organic farm produce and this will encourage many farmers to venture into organic agriculture as done in china.
MrsSadiq also said that she is a poultry farmer that raises local birds in a semi intensive system of agriculture. She practices preventive agriculture by using neem and bitterleaf extract as antibiotics to boost their immunity against disease outbreak and ginger to keep them warm.
Mr. Oladopo hatches day old chicks organically and says that he sells those chicks for about three hundred naira each. He also practices semi intensive agriculture, though sometimes they may be attacked by hawk but someone must always be around to check them. He uses Fulani cock to mate the hen as they have the ability to mate many bird.
The major challenge perculiar to them is insufficient sources organic feed ingredients and antibiotics as lack of organic herbicides do not make more farmers want to go into the production of maize, soyabeans, ginger etc.