In this interview at an event tagged; ‘Mentorship Session with Adeolu Akinyemi’, Director of Farm Support Services Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ogunwomoju opened up to Ayodele Olubuse on how he started a multi-billion naira farming business with just N10, as he also discussed the health risks and dangers of consuming imported frozen foods.
How on earth did you start a multi-billion naira business with just N10?
Ans: You know in our elementary economics, we were taught factors of production which involves land, labour, capital and entrepreneur, its true I started with N10 but other factors were available that made the N10 multiply like goodwill, integrity, experience and other factors.
Most times we focus on only the money as the capital but we forget about other capital that we have like integrity, goodwill, honesty, expertise, experience e.t.c. So, I had integrity as some people were ready to commit their money to my hands to do business, I had expertise as some people paid for that, so all those formed part of the capital that added to the N10 financial capital I started business with.
How did you deal with the prejudice and challenges associated with farming while growing up?
Ans: I trained as a farmer, I have a first degree in Animal Science. I know people are prejudice about farming, there are a lot of challenges with farming but just like in every other facet of life there are challenges, what you need to do is to master your environment which you work and also master your trade, research more.
What are the challenges associated with Government policies towards poultry business in Nigeria?
Ans: Of course there are challenges associated with government policies, like the ban on the importation of frozen chicken has not been completely successful, imported frozen foods still find their way into the country through illegal means which is not good enough. The Poultry Association of Nigeria which I am a member has done a lot of advocacy in enlightening the public about the risks and dangers in consuming imported products.
What are the threats posed by these imported frozen foods?
Ans: There are big risks. Most of these turkeys are preserved with dangerous chemicals in order to be able to bring them down into the country. Therefore, there is still need for massive awareness on the dangers of consuming these products, though they are cheaper, but on the long run they cause more damage to the health of the human being.
What effort is the government making towards encouraging local production?
Government talks a lot about encouraging local production but government is not actually walking the talk. What we require is what we term generally enabling environment, like good roads, electricity, good means of communication, transportation and other infrastructural development. For now, government has not really been of help to the local producers and also farming in general. So, government still needs to do more if they really want to boost local production to aid the economy.
What are other constraints associated with government policies and regulations?
The major problem is multiplicities of taxes and levies by government agencies. Every day I have about five different government agencies coming to our premises to demand one tax, levy or the other. One thing we need to know is that all these regulations are discouragement to business, government is focusing too much on regulating instead of focusing on their basic responsibility of providing basic infrastructure and enabling environment for business to thrive in the country.