Agribusiness can be seen as a science and practice of activities with backward and forward linkage related to production, processing, marketing and trade, distribution of raw and processed food, feed, fiber including supply of inputs and services for these activities. In a developing country like Nigeria, agribusiness system with forward and backward linkages consist of the following four major sectors, such as agricultural input, agricultural production, agricultural processing-manufacturing or agro processing,” and agricultural marketing-distribution sector.
These four major sectors act as interrelated parts of a system in which the success of each sector depends, to a large extent, on the proper functioning of the other sectors. Thus, agribusiness is all about how to conduct successful business in the food and agriculture related sectors. It is a business that has many opportunities and gives room to all players to participate at all levels. It is a business you can start at the back of your house, at home or start without capital.
With the coming of departmental stores and plazas, food processing and packaging has become the order of the day. Also, with the increasing number of middle class in the society and the busy nature of house wives, one is sure of making money once you invest into agribusiness, both online and offline.
Youth involvement in Agribusiness in a time like this in Nigeria, is key to the socio-economic development of the nation. It will lead to jobs creation and youths being independent. To embark on agriculture-related activities, one does not need to own a farm to be involved in agribusiness. There are a series of activities in which youths can get involved despite the fact that they may not have any background in agriculture. In doing this, there will be development of all communities, the society at large and the national economy. As a result, incomes will be enhanced, it will as well bring about food security, employment and quality of life will be sustained.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari’s call for youths to participate in Agric related businesses on Monday at Blair House, Washington DC, at a meeting with the chief executive officers of six American agricultural companies and their Nigerian counterparts, shows government keenness to advance Agro-Allied businesses and as well, deal with the major challenges facing Agro-Allied businesses (herdsmen/farmers crisis) which has discouraged many youths to become Agricbusiness men in Nigeria. Agriculture, is not just the future or alternative source of income to the nation but for food security, income opportunities to Nigerians and Industrialisation of the nation through modern farming, processing and storage system. The issue of skilled labour in the Agro-Allied industry, is another factor that needs to be addressed. Both government, coperate organisations and nongovernmental organisations need to be involved to train the needed work force which mainly are youths, both in the formal and informal education sector. Coperative colleges in Nigeria need to be refashioned in line with government vision to address youth unemployment, food security and economic diversification in Nigeria.
The opportunities are not just in owning a farm but in the following business enterprises that buy from or sell to farmers. The transaction may involve either a product, a commodity or a service and encompasses items such as (a) Productive resources e.g. feed, seed, fertilisers, equipment, energy, machinery etc.
(b) Agricultural commodities e.g food and fiber etc.
(c) Facilitative services e.g credit, insurance, Agro produce brokering marketing, consultancy, storage, processing, transportation, packing, distribution etc.
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