One major lesson has been learned across the globe since coronavirus pandemic raged on, and that lesson is; humans must feed. pandemic or not! This is a basic natural law! Food is required to ensure the survival of humanity and as such food security cannot be overemphasized. The United Nations World Food Programme predicts that over 265 million people globally could face food insecurity by the end of the year 2020. Despite such negative reports, other positives abound in 2020 if you look in the right direction.
Farming is the most extensive part of agriculture in Africa. Six in every Ten African hears farming when agriculture is mentioned. The farming bit of the sector albeit is a very essential, employing millions and generating billions in revenue monthly but there are also other career paths and investment options available within the agricultural sector. Not everyone will till the land, If everyone in agriculture focuses on cultivation alone, how will the crops be packaged and transported? Who will be responsible for processing, storing, and marketing these crops?
Have you ever wondered who is responsible for ensuring raw farm produce cultivated up north gets to the south as processed consumer goods?
To produce food, farmers need certain resources, such as seed, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging materials, and many others. Precisely because of that, transport is an essential aspect of crop production that enables the delivery of agricultural resources to a farmer. Similarly, to complete the value chain, Farmers need to transport farm produce from their farms to aggregation points and processing sites before the finished products hit the consumer market. In all of these, transportation is utilized. The transport systems are direct enablers of the Agric value chain, ensuring that Agro demands meet supply. Millions of Metric Tonnes’ worth of grains are transported daily via various transportation modes, road transport is the most commonly used in Africa. An investor can join in by plugging in as Logistics Company, thereby enabling sustenance for the economy by creating employment opportunities for truck drivers, mechanics, etc.
Retail and Warehousing
When crops leave the farm, most times the first point of contact is the aggregation point. Here farm crops are subject to checks to ascertain the quality of crops e.g. Grains delivered before being measured, graded, repackaged and stored in sacks in a cool, dry warehouse. Typically, a warehouse is a storehouse, capable of housing trucks worth of farm items. Some farm products can’t be consumed immediately. Asides perishable items, food items can be packaged, preserved, and stored till they are transported.
A warehouse is needed to keep these products in perfect condition before they are bought off or delivered to food processors and traders. Getting an adequate location to use as a warehouse can be strenuous, its best to have the warehouses located in the markets or at a close distance to the markets thereby cutting costs of re transporting packaged goods and staying easily accessible by market traders.
As the old saying goes, man must wack! Even during a famine and war, people will eat. The questions are, who supplies these foods? Where can it be bought and who is selling? Farmers are not readily accessible to all, Traders are the closest to the consumers. Most people will get their food from the malls, markets, open stalls in streets, etc that’s where to get the consumable goods, If you have a knack for trading, commodity trading like selling foodstuffs is one you should look into. Traders usually get products from wholesalers (Retail Warehouses) at discounted rates thereby gaining a share to sell at better profits rates to the consumers.
Although no industry is 100% risk-free, there is no better time than now to invest in agriculture, investors can get informed by asking the right questions and be attentive to the varied sectors in agribusiness that provide beneficial prospects for investment, potential investors can make contributions to strengthen food production, availability, and accessibility in this period and post COVID-19, thereby impacting the lives of millions while earning a substantial living.