• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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How Femi Eniola gives glamour to agriculture

How Femi Eniola gives glamour to agriculture

Many young Nigerians are abandoning farming and rural communities, choosing to migrate to urban centers in search of white-collar jobs.

But Femi Eniola, founder and chief executive officer of Osky Catfish Hatchery – an aquaculture business based in Ondo has decided to stay in the rural area and venture into the agricultural sector to tap farming opportunities.

Eniola, an inspiration for many youths, is leveraging opportunities across the country’s catfish value chain.

He was inspired by his craving for dried catfish and upon his return to Nigeria after living in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, he established his business.

“While abroad, I craved a lot for catfish but would always find it difficult to get African Catfish. Most of the ones I find on most shelves are from Thailand and the Philippines,” he says.

“In my curiosity, I researched why most African stores abroad stocked more of East Asian catfish than those from Africa despite producing it as well,” he explains.

“In my quest, I decided to enroll in catfish production training in the Philippines to know what the Philippines are doing differently to become top exporters of catfish,” he adds.

During his training in the Philippines, he discovers that they were cultivating a catfish of African origin – Nigeria to train participants.

According to him, it was shameful and disappointing to come from Nigeria to the Philippines to learn how to breed catfish that originally came from his own country.

Read also: Food inflation to worsen as insecurity bars farmers from harvest

All this inspired Eniola to establish Osky Catfish Hatchery. Since starting the business has grown steadily and currently has 28 employees.

Osky has expanded its production into catfish sausage, burger patty, and fish nuggets. Weekly, his hatchery processes four tons of fresh catfish to a ton of dried catfish.

Eniola says he has gotten recognition from the Federal Government, the Ondo State Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Ooni of Ife for his achievements in the agricultural sector.

Responding to questions on major challenges confronting the country, he says finance has remained the major challenge facing his business.

He notes that it has been difficult to access finance from commercial banks, adding that inadequate finance has prevented youths with innovative ideas from kick-starting their businesses.

He identifies the impact of climate change on his business and the quick-get-rich syndrome among youths. “A lot of people you work with want to take advantage of you. They want to make money overnight without going through the process.”

He states that dedication, passion, resilience, and self-belief among others is what have helped him to become profitable in the business.

He urges youths to be resilient in their pursuit, noting that there are loads of opportunities in the agricultural value chain yet to be tapped.

He advises youths to leverage every form of training to unlearn and relearn. “Be very hard-working, stay consistent and take advantage of social media to do business beyond their current environment.”