The Chairman, Best Foods Fresh Farms Limited and Past President, Institute of Chattered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere has advised Nigerian professionals to tap into the ongoing agricultural revolution in Nigeria to improve their finances and quality/quantity of food production in the country.
The eminent businessman who hosted members of ICAN, Lagos Mainland and District Society (LMDS), in Lagos last weekend lectured them on the prospects in agriculture even as he urged them to upgrade themselves and invest in the sector he described as the most lucrative and sustainable in Africa.
Mr. Ijewere took his guests on a tour to his farm at Epe, and Lekki where they were shown the farm environment and lectured on the greenhouse and open-field farming techniques as well as the modern poultry farming and cattle butchering methods after which the team proceeded to the farm house for the regular ICAN meeting and interactive session with their host.
“We have come to the know that some of you may want to consider the idea of greenhouses. They are expensive but long term investments. Long term investments in the sense that when you invest that money, you can determine whatever you are producing there and you can also say what kind of product you want. The materials that would be used will be there for the minimum of 15 years.
“For those who would want to go into farming, you do not need to go into it blindly. There are bodies that have done a lot of work in the past years and are ready to give you what you need to put on ground. Cassava is part of it. You would be told the amount you need for one hectare of Cassava and what you will get back as profit but as it is, you can make a minimum of 100% profit in 12 months of Cassava if properly managed.
“Agriculture itself doesn’t mean you have to go and be a farmer. That’s where we are getting it wrong in this country. We have to look at the value chain and it starts from the seedlings, training, land preparation, transportation, plowing the land, and others.” he said
Mr. Ijewere also warned against going into any agricultural activity without a steady offtaker which he said is key to succeeding in the sector.
“And do not take anything for granted. In those days, we always talked about producing but nowadays, 90% of agriculture is science. Therefore, there is no information you need about agriculture that you will not find on the Internet.” he said
The former ICAN boss enlightened the delegates that the best alternative to channel their energies is the agricultural sector due to the high food demands particularly in Lagos state and Africa in general. To him, food production and supply in Africa are still very sub-optimal. Hence, the unquantifiable business opportunities in Agriculture.
In her remarks, the Chairman, ICAN LMDS, Mrs. Ngozi Osakwe-Ogo thanked Mr. Ijewere for granting them approval for the visit even as she described it as the largest contingent to any courtesy visits in the history of the district.
While stating the purpose of the visit, Mrs. Osakwe-Ogo recanted numerous programmes and achievements of the district ever since it was entrusted under her leadership to include: regular meetings; courtesy visits to reputable organizations and individuals for collaborations on areas of common interest; catch them young programmes aimed at incorporating undergraduates and young professionals; charity and corporate social responsibilities (CSR) via bringing succor to the needy and less privileged.
She also intimated her host of the district’s forthcoming dinner and Presidential visit on March 27, 2018, noting that Mr. Ijewere is expected as a guest at the event that would feature a lecture, and launching of N50 million building fund for the District’s secretariat.
“Securing a befitting building for the District has been a very big challenge for the District since inception. Presently we are in a rented apartment situated in an area not befitting a district of our great Institute.
“Sir, we need your advice on how to move our district forward, support towards successfully hosting our 53rd president come March 27th, 2018, and towards securing the property for our building” she said.
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