Afrinection has grown by leaps and bounds since we launched two years ago. Every week, scores of new entrepreneurs, innovators, professionals, and start-ups are signing up for a free Afrinection profile. Mayowa Oyinkanola from Nigeria is one of them. As a true agricultural Jack of all trades, he is the director and co-founder of both QM Farms Limited and the Whatsapp-based LetsTalkAgric platform. He also wrote the first animal husbandry textbook for senior secondary school students whilst steering Green Organic Farm, which grows sustainable, quality, certified organic produce and poultry. With agriculture being the next big thing in Africa, we decided to interview him.
Q. Please tell us a bit more about QM Farms. How did it come about?
A. QM Farms is an integrated farm in Oyo State that grows crops and livestock and includes value chain additions such as distribution, branding and marketing activities. I founded the venture in 2015 and my partner QueenBanor.
Q. You have been involved in agriculture for quite some time. What inspired this journey?
A. The ability to feed people is what inspired me. I like to stretch out my hands to give people hope. I am a simple person who is concerned with the impact have on my immediate environment and the continent as a whole. My vehicle of choice is organic agriculture.
Q. Tell us about you LetsTalkAgric initiative and some of your other ventures
A. Well, I also run a consultancy company that helps people start farms, I manage several farms and train farmers in sustainable organic agriculture. In terms of LetsTalkAgric, this is Nigeria’s first agricultural WhatsApp platform for youths, to help them find their feet in the world of farming. We have 500+ participants in two groups, where people discuss farming issues, challenges, trends and solutions.
Q. How big is the economic potential of farming in Nigeria?
A. Farming is big in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, and it remains the best option for mass recruitment. This is because of the extent of related services, including processing, distribution and marketing activities. Farming is the future of Africa’s economic well-being.
Q. What are your best tips for Africanagripreneurs?
A. Firstly, you have to persevere and be patient. Agriculture is not like any other sector. You will have to leave the fast, instant gratification culture of millennials behind. Secondly, be dynamic. Always be prepared to work on yourself and improve. Be versatile and willing and ready to read, understand and know more about market strategies for your produce and products and all other aspects of your venture. Finally, be persistent. You will fail at times, but don’t let that deter you. Failures will help you shape your next steps.
Q. What has been the most challenging thing in terms of setting up and running QM Farm?
A. The prices of inputs, from construction materials to materials needed to set up the poultry farm. This has cost us a fortune. The cost of acquiring chickens and feed have also been killing.
Q. Where do you see yourself and QM Farm in five years from now?
A. I see myself as a household name in Nigeria and Africa. I want to be Africa's top New Age agripreneur.
More African Agrip[reneurship stories on Afrinection:
- Boosting African farming doesn't require development aid but structured investments
- Olaoluwa Bamigboye from Nigeria: "I want to put food on every African's table"
Afrinection's Network comprises countless African agripreneurs and agri-businesses, including Farmers Pride (Kenya), Mushroom grower Jekesai Njikizana (Zimbabwe), Ajayi Organic Farms (Nigeria), and Guaro Farms(Ethiopia).