MyFarmBase Africa‘s Youth Start-Up of The Month was created to tell the stories of young farmers and agricpreneurs alongside reaching out to prospective farmers to learn from their successes and failures with the sole aim of increasing food production and making huge profits from the different value chains in agriculture.
Ahmed Abdu holds a degree in Advertising from Multimedia University, Malaysia. He is a designer who stepped into farming not out of passion but necessity.
Albeit, few years into his farming business, he became passionate, even to his surprise. As added advantage, he is using his advertising and photography skill to boost his business.
He is an independent man, he belongs to no farmers group or organization. Alone, he is gradually working up the ladder of success and making waves in agriculture.
MFB: Tell us about yourself.
Ahmed Abdu: I went to a nursery school in Kano, then my parents moved to Qatar where I went to primary school.
I came back to Nigeria, had my secondary school education in Abuja. After that, I traveled to Malaysia to study Advertising in Multimedia University, Malaysia.
MFB: Tell us how you began farming.
Ahmed Abdu: When I came back to Nigeria in 2015, I planned to serve my fatherland then get a job. After my service year, the same way it happens to all graduates, I got no job.
My father does farming as hobby. He has 30 hectares of land on which lots of food and commercial trees were planted, but he sell none of his farm produce, he give them out to friends and family.
I felt I should commercialize it, so, one day I went to a major super market in Abuja where fresh fruits are sold.
After checking what they had in stock, I found I had fruits of better quality.So, I met with the manager who told me to bring few samples for her.
I showed her samples of seedless lemon first, she loved it and registered me as a supplier. That was how it began.
I started as a supplier of seedless lemon, then demand grew, they loved my products and requested for more fresh fruits.
They paid a visit to the farm to see the trees, a result of the good business rapport we built, and they began giving me seeds for planting whose fruits I sell to them.
MFB: Tell us your achievements so far.
Ahmed Abdu: At the beginning, we had 30 lemon plants but I planted 600 more.
Now, we have 630 lemon plants, 800 mangoes trees, a few hundred bananas, 700 guava and 1000 palm trees.
We produce locally made Palm oil on the farm too. I supply the super market with passion fruit, I planted 3000 of its trees to keep up with the demand and of pomegranate as well.
On a weekly basis, I supply 500 kg to 800 kg of produce from the farm.
MFB: Tell us your greatest challenge.
Ahmed Abdu: One of the greatest challenge we have is accessibility to funds and equipment.
Government actions is all talk, they make no delivery but you can take your business slowly and forget them.
Manpower is not one of our problems, the farm is located close to a village, we easily get labor from the village.
We generate enough revenue to pay workers and to expand as little as we can, each time.
MFB: Do you have words for youths who are passionate about Agriculture?
Ahmed Abdu: Agriculture is worthwhile, I did not believe in it at first but now, I do.
It is a business you can do with peace of mind.
Agriculture depends in the basics of buying and selling, you get your products then you sell to consumers, it does not require taking a new course.
The margin is good, you get 50% margin delivery on what you produce.
If you are willing to put in the hard work, it is worth it. It won’t be easy at first but will be worth while in the end.
Compiled and Reported by Oluwatosin and Damilola