Arab Today, arab today championing africa\s food revolution
Last Updated : GMT 01:44:06
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Championing Africa\'s food revolution

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Championing Africa\'s food revolution

London - BBC

The quick and high returns of Nigeria\'s oil industry have led to it dominating the economy to the detriment of other sectors. But Jite Okoloko saw an opportunity in the disarray of the agricultural sector to champion Nigerian farmers. After seven years living in the United States Mr Okoloko returned to Nigeria and launched Notore Chemical Industries Ltd in 2005 He says he was dismayed by Nigeria\'s continued reliance on imported food and saw an opportunity to increase home-grown food production. \"Nigeria imports $3m [£1.9m] worth of rice - when we can grow all the rice we want, we are importing wheat when we can actually use cassava in making bread,\" he told the BBC\'s Africa Dream. He says the government\'s neglect of the agricultural sector presented an opportunity for his firm to reawaken the industry. \"The government had run a fertiliser plant, badly. It was abandoned after it failed,\" he told BBC Africa\'s Tomi Oladipo. He bought the the old assets of the plant but it needed a lot of work. \"We had shrubs and trees growing on steel pipes, major corrosion of underground pipes.\" The poor quality of production on many African farms led him to believe that producing quality fertiliser was key to improving farming practices. So how has Notore Chemical been able to fill the gap left by government to revive Nigerian agriculture? \"The private sector is in there to extract and maximise value, shareholder value - that\'s the whole essence of being in business.\" \"There\'s nowhere in the world, whether it\'s in the United States, wherever in the world, that the government has been able to run projects more effectively than private sectors.\" The land of opportunity Mr Okoloko decided to return to Nigeria in 1994. Armed with a degree from Harvard Business School, one of the world\'s most prestigious universities, he headed back home at a time when many were going in the other direction. \"I was driven by the hunger of knowing that opportunities existed in Africa,\" he said. \"If you look at other developed markets most of the opportunities have been taken. Most of the value has been extracted, margins are tighter, growth is slower.\" He says the exceptional rewards associated with doing business in Africa, made leaving the US worthwhile. \"It\'s either being ultimately a shareholder in what happens in Nigeria or in any of these emerging markets or lose that opportunity for the rest of your life.\" Despite this potential, doing business in an emerging market was not without its risks. \"We are talking about how stable are the policies going to be there to continue to support growth, you know you\'re talking about what kind of infrastructures are there to support the expansion of the business.\" Mr Okoloko began his Africa Dream by raising the capital needed to buy the plant through shareholders and eight commercial banks. But he says ultimately turning a failed asset into a successful one came down to having strong human resources and understanding the challenges he might face. \"Getting in the right technical partners, getting in the right shareholders, being able to understand what the issues and the plans are, knowing the advantages and of course knowing the huge problems and challenges you\'re about to deal with\". A poor image African populations are now dominated by young people and unemployment among the young is high. This, says Mr Okoloko, represents another opportunity. \"Seventy per cent of the labour force in Nigeria is in the agricultural space.\" He believes the industry\'s inability to attract the best and brightest is not helped by Africa\'s graduates who are lured into the corporate world by the promise of high starting salaries. For him, buying a piece of fertile land would prove a more profitable option for people starting out. \"A young determined fellow coming out of school on five hectares of land, using best practices in terms of the right use of fertilisers, seeds, education, farming on five hectares of land will generate more income than any entry level position in corporate Nigeria.\" He sees the out-dated image of farming as a profession with few financial rewards as one of the main reasons behind this lack of interest in rejuvenating the agriculture sector. \"A farmer is not necessarily the poorest person on earth.\" Farming for the future Mr Okoloko\'s plans are not short on ambition. The firm\'s website reads that they want to become the \"No 1 Company by market share and profitability\" in agriculture. The firm now produces seeds which they hope will be used to improve the yield of farmers and runs learning centres across the country to enable farmers to meet and share techniques. For now the 2013 launch of Notore foods, a subsidiary which will work with farmers across Africa to select agricultural produce, is one of Mr Okoloko\'s main priorities. As far as he is concerned, the future of African food security lies with its farmers. African Dream is broadcast on the BBC Network Africa programme every Monday morning.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today championing africa\s food revolution Arab Today, arab today championing africa\s food revolution

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today championing africa\s food revolution Arab Today, arab today championing africa\s food revolution

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Silent Republicans have their reasons

GMT 16:55 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Silent Republicans have their reasons
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday