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Meet One Of Nigeria’s Youngest, Most Successful AgroPreneurs- Pelumi Aribisala #StarsConnect

INTERVIEWED BY STARSCONNECT CORRESPONDENT: OCHE ENE EUNICE

GUEST:  PELUMI ARIBISALA

Mr. Pelumi Salas Aribisala is the Group Managing Director of Ogunmod Farms located in Ile-Ogbo, Osun State . He has a B.Sc degree in Microbiology from the Obafemi Awolowo Univertsity. Mr. Pelumi Aribisala manages about a  1000-acre farmland. He has a dream of making Africa self-sufficient in food production to put the lie to the impression created by western media that the African continent and its people are a hungry and deprived people.

He took it upon himself that He wants to be able to say that from his farm, He can feed Africa, at least once every week. That is his dream, his vision and goal and he’s really working towards that,” he said.

He started with oil palm and today, He has about 30 acres covered with oil palm. It is still very small because his target is to have one million hectares of farmland.

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Pelumi Aribisala @ StarsConnect Studio

INTERVIEW

This is Jetheights Services; we are an IT Solutions, Advertisement and Human Resource company, currently operating in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. We currently own and effectively run more than 16 websites which are fully operational and gaining massive momentum. Now, this is Stars connect Studio which is a subsidiary of Jet heights services, StarsConnect network is a programme that brings together entrepreneurs, business owners, inspirational speakers, pastors, and leaders in the society, upcoming artistes, NGOs, people giving back to the society and the world at large.

We conduct interview sessions in our studio to find out everything we can about their journey to stardom, we hope to bring together stars who can be of benefit to one another or who can synergize with Jetheights in other to impact the community. By doing this we can reach out to everyone in the society especially the youth in order for them to make good use of their youthfulness and channel their energy towards positive and productivity activities. Once again welcome to StarsConnect Studio.

Aribisala: Thank you

Can you please introduce yourself to us?

Aribisala: My Name is Pelumi Aribisala but people call me Salas or Corporate farmer.

What brought you into farming?

Aribisala: I was called into farming, just the way our spiritual leaders are being called by God, and I’m passionate about it. Secondly, I don’t like the way the foreign media portray Africans, you don’t need to be told by the time you see hungry and looking ill children and they say there are Africans,  but that is not who we are. So I got angry and took it upon myself to go into Agriculture.

What changes have you encountered during your years of farming?  

Aribisala:  Agriculture keeps revolving, there are lots of new innovations in Agriculture, In the past 8 years, what I have really enjoyed in Agriculture is the fact that you are able to put one thing down and it comes out multiplied. Farming is the only profession that your products multiply geometrically.

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Pelumi Aribisala with Jetheights Staffs

Do you take farming as a business or a hubby?

Aribisala: Entrepreneurship is anything you do to solve people’s problems and you make profit from it. Farming to me is a business and that’s why people call me Agro-preneur.

Are you working on any business presently?

Aribisala:  Yes, we have quite a number of projects. One of it is, we are trying to reduce post-harvest waste, because in Africa today, we produce enough food that can go round but more than 70% of this food goes to waste and that’s why we have hunger, food in security etc. So we are working on reducing post-harvest loses and developing products from farm produce. We have what we call food chips i.e. Pineapple chips, pawpaw chips, cassava chips etc. We convert fruits to chips, so we can increase the shelf life and avoid wastage. And all our products are without preservatives or any additives, there are natural and fortified with Vitamin A.

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We also have a farmer’s academy, that’s our baby project; where we train young people that want alternative source of income.

What is the hardest part of farming for you?

Aribisala: To me, farming has no hard part, because is what I love to do however, I try to let people know that Agriculture comes with huge risk and as a result of that, there are some hard parts. I think the hardest part is how to get the products from the farm to the market.

What time does your day start and end?

Aribisala:  My Day starts at 3:00am and ends at 11:00pm, I have my farms at Osun state and Iseyin, and my office is here in Ibadan. I visit my farm when I need to and when I’m not at the farm, I’m in the office or I work from home if there’s no need to be at the office.

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Pelumi Aribisala and Oche Eunice( StarsConnect Correspondent)

What crop do you grow/ animals you rear?

Aribisala:  I’m not restricted to a particular crop, I do what people call Integrated Farming, but I see it more than just integrated farming. I do crops, animals and Agricultural waste management. For the crops, vegetables is one of them; and we have a product: tomato powder, all aim at reducing post-harvest losses, we have onion powder, and we grow cassava, yam, oil palm, groundnut, Plantain and maize. For animals, snails, grass cutter and cat fish. We smoke the cat fish, spiced with medicinal, oven dried. And for the agricultural waste management, we produce Bio-gas from plants and animals residue, we also grow mushroom, using plant waste and the compose is use for fertilizer. We also manage other people farms.

What’s your future plan on your farming business?

Aribisala: Having a farm estate of about 5,000 to 10,000 acre, and having access to 1 million acre of land all over Africa. Currently, we have access to about 1000 acre of land. We want to ensure that people have good, nutritious and quality food.

What Change do you predict farming in Nigeria will see over the next 25 years?

Aribisala: I believe in 25 years, agriculture in Nigeria would have changed so well, because a lot of people are not relying on Government just like me. And also in 25 years, I see Nigeria not depending on food import. And I see more young people going into agriculture to be secondary producers.

What is the most satisfying part of farming for you?

Aribisala:  It is when I get to the farm and I can communicate and interact with the crops and animals. And see my products on people’s table.

What Advice could you give to people interested in getting into farming?

Aribisala: My advice to people who want to go into agro business is, firstly they need to understand that Agro business comes with huge risk, and if you are ready to take the risk, then you are willing to go into agriculture. Ability to manage the risk is what determines your profitability. Secondly, before you get into agriculture, get knowledge, this is crucial. Do a lot of researches if possible work with research institutions.

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