An Agripreneur, actor and philanthropist, John Dumelo, has indicated that “the most important thing about agriculture is funding …. Think big but start small.” John said this during an online Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) Fellowship Technical Session.
The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) held an online session dubbed the KIC Fellowship Technical Session on the topic ‘Highlight of Ghana’s Agricultural Value Chains and Its Potential for Youth Employment & Income Generation’.
The session hosted Dr. George T-M Kwadzo, a retired Senior lecturer of the University of Ghana and an Agribusiness consultant, Esther Agyekum, the Head of the Horticulture Development Unit of the Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Pearl Coleman Ackah, a KIC team member and today’s spotlight, John Dumelo.
The movie star and Agripreneur during his delivery on the KIC Technical Session stated that as an entrepreneur, it is good to think big.
He, however, cautioned that in thinking big, one must be patient to start small so as to gain all the needed experience for the next stage.
“The most important thing about agriculture is funding. Think big but start small. Agric is a risk but most often with very good planning it is rewarding”.
When asked about funding and going for loans for the start of an agribusiness, this is what he had to say
“It is very important to use your own money. Borrowing will put pressure on you. You can only borrow once you’ve started. I started with 200 cedis, 300 cedis here and there.”
This point was buttressed by Esther Agyekum who further stated that she was against going for loans at the start of the agribusiness.
She also said it is important to be up to speed with the industry we seek to engage so we are aware of the industry’s position and how we can come in with our innovation.
“We are all against you going for loans to start in agriculture. Try and familiarize yourself with new developments within the value chain whether production, logistics and etc. so you make the right decision” Esther Agyekum.
“Agric teaches patience. It’s not fast money, if it’s 3 years that the coconut will take to mature it’s 3 years, if it’s 3 months for the pig to mature it’s 3 months. It’s not fast money,” said John Dumelo.
He encouraged the resident financial institutions to help the existing farmers.
“Take a look at the farmers in US. We have a few farmers producing a lot. Here we have a lot of farmers producing just a little because they invest in mechanization”
He also touched on the opportunity of agribusiness even in the face of climate change stating that available technology has made it easier to work in conditions we now have.
In his closing remarks, he advised the youth to look through the value chain, identify some constraints and meet them.
“This is not a place for a one time shot and you leave. It’s a sector where you invest yourself over time. Pick something from the value chain and meet a constraint” John Dumelo.