The sustainability of Nigeria agricultural startup

The Nigeria agricultural sector is the one of the most employable sector in the world because of its significance in development, civilization and mechanization. Agriculture and, more recently, sustainable agriculture in Nigeria is an industry that employs most of the country’s population. The number of people employed in this sector is around 70 percent. However, it only makes up 22 percent of the nation’s GDP.

This is indicated mostly through Nigeria’s unemployment rate that sits at 70 percent. Things may change soon. Various initiatives, speeches, articles and organizations in Nigeria all point to a bright future for sustainable agriculture in Nigeria and especially the future for the younger generations working for it. Starting a business is a lot harder than most people think. Rarely is a business so in tune with its niche that it can float along with minimal effort. But why do so many businesses fail? For that matter, how many of them actually do fail? The reasons run deep, but here is what you should know before starting your own business.

The younger generation of almost 70% in the agricultural sector inculcates a general belief that there is no need working for someone while some genuinely saw a loophole and they have ideas to fix it and some are after the paper calculated profit they have imagined. All of this category have a startup solving one problem or the other in the agricultural sector.  Even though we now have a lot of crowd funding company in Nigeria, we still have a lot of other value chain been explored by the interested agriculturist in the sector.

Technology, agricultural education, agro tourism, communication, marketing, and other value chain area is being explored as a lot of problems exist in all of this chain processes and solutions that are mostly technological driven are provided for it.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a “small” business as one with 500 employees or less. In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%. Research concludes 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year. According to business owners, reasons for failure include money running out, being in the wrong market, a lack of research, bad partnerships, ineffective marketing, and not being an expert in the industry.

Characteristics of startups that fail?

The product must be fit for market: A careful survey of failed startups determined that over 40% of them identified the “lack of a market need for their product” as the single biggest reason for their failure. If you’re going to spend your time and hour making a product or building a services, then spend your time making sure it’s the right product/services for the right market. A survey must be carefully done so as to know the right market available for the product and the right market channel must be intentionally identified so as to reach out to the right and appropriate market which value the product/services.

Lack of proper information:  it is important youth in the agricultural sector to gather the right information so as to be able scale through the risk and negative situation of an early startup, it is important to not be ignorant of knowledge so as to farm efficiently and effectively. Information is important for proper navigation of farm work. Different mobile application are now available for youth and any interested participant, all this mobile application are useful especially for local farmers and they have to be taught so as to effectively be productive.

The wrong team: Another reliable destruction for startups are problems and inconsistencies within the team. If the cooperation between the team members does not work, the startup doesn’t stand a chance either. The first five employees will make or break your start-up.

Under-planned business model: Startups that fail have often failed to create a comprehensive and understanding plan. The founding team focuses majorly on getting the business off the ground that there is little in place to keep it flowing. Some recommend that at least a one-year plan be in place, complete with goals, market analysis, and a budget, among other components. Planning must be comprehensive and detailed in order to position a new startup for survival and growth.

What is the characteristics of startup that succeed?

They have a strong team: having a strong and dedicated team for a startup is one of  the most important any striving startup must consider, it make work faster and efficient, it helps in faster development and a team could key an investor than even an idea.

Sound Idea and market fit: Any idea a startup is working on must be market fit and sound with a direction to a particular problem and solution.

Strong vision: If you lack a specific vision or company mission, the business won’t be consistent, which can hurt your bottom line and the business in a long run. Having a strong vision and tenacity to build the vision is important, many startup have the vision but no tenacity to build their vision from the scratch to the finish line. Recently I saw the milestone Onyeka Akumah made with plentywaka and I saw his tenacity to growth.  

How can startup remain sustainable?

All startups must be vast with the sustainable development goal, the goal state all the sustainable facilities for the next years development, it is important all startup build sustainable idea that will keep being in existence even after the death of the founder, All startups should build an idea structured around the SDG’s. All startups must be ready to face the risk of sustainable development, the team members must be prepared to work and work hard, they must not be quitter, they must be able to recognize opportunity and go after opportunity. They must be able to fight intelligent opportunities and understand the basics of business accordingly. For sustainable agricultural startup, it is important the team understand their idea, how to navigate their competitors, recognize their target market and audience, develop their business model canvas and financial analysis. It makes sustainability easier.

All business owners must be strong willed and understand the place of patience, all business owners must understand that business growth is a process not a day job, more effort must be dedicated and committed into the development of a startup. The founder of the idea must work with a team that believe in the vision and dream of the startup, team that don’t give up, team that understand the process of the growth of a startup. The founder must work with little emotional attachment, understand when to keep a team and when to let them go. All business must be well structured and coordinated so as to have the best result.

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