The Annual 2018 Agribusiness Summit, a convergence of Agribusiness Investors across East Africa, once again united investors to discuss trends, pace setters in the sector and nuggets that would enable the investors move a notch higher in their respective investments
Agriculture has evolved over the past few decades, from the traditional central role of food provision into an entrepreneurial venture. The demand for quality, value added products and global challenges affecting the sector such as a rapidly bulging population, climate change and the sustenance of food security, continues to shape and define the sector.
Investors who attended the agribusiness summit had an opportunity to hear from Successful investors in agribusiness, the challenges they faced in their growth as well as why investments in the sector are worth investing in and aspects that all investors need to have including agricultural insurance which few investors think of having as they begin investing in agribusiness.
“Agribusiness like any other business enterprise is predisposed to risks. Production risks can easily be mitigated by the uptake of agricultural insurance,” remarked Michael Waigwa – CEO and Founder Farm Ventures.
As businesses make undertakings to mitigate losses and meet higher profit margins, it is also crucial for investors to take a scientific and technological approach towards the management of one’s investment. Mechanization of production operations is one of the ways to ensure that efficiency is attained.
Some of the scientific approaches which have been gaining popularity across the world is the regenerative approach towards food and farming systems. This approach regenerates the top soil and ensures that the soil acquires its original nutrients. Through the regenerative approach, investors can cut down the costs of inputting nutrients into the soil, greatly influencing their cost of production and increasing their profit margins.
Dr. Freddie Acosta, an Organic Farmer took the audience through the benefits of an integrated organic farming system. He encouraged investors to make use of the system to cut down on the expenditures incurred during the production phase, “85% of the farm expenses are on feeds; an integrated farm with both crops and animals, cuts down the outflow cost significantly.”
Lastly, the positioning of an Agi-venture and its products into the market requires acute skills in branding, product placement and client oriented marketing, “trust takes time to build but it is easily lost. Establishing a transparent and a trustworthy relationship between the organisation and the clients is paramount in building brand loyalty. Agri-prenuers must be ready to establish a candid relationship with their clients and constantly examine the representation of their brand. What story does your branding tell?” Joachim Westerveld, Chairman Bio Food Products.
Investors had the opportunity to access mentorship from successful and seasoned entrepreneurs through the various agribusiness value chains in Fruits and Vegetables production, Apiculture, Dairy farming, Aquaculture, Herbs farming, Cereals and Pulses, Poultry, Pigs and Beef rearing.