Adama J. Adama: Agriculture will create more jobs for Nigerians than oil and gas sector
Although Nigerians have heard a lot about the merit of agriculture since the time of Operation Feed the Nation and The Green Revolution, the message seems to have been lost on them simply because politicians, policymakers and various governments in the country had paid lip service to agriculture since the late 1970s. With the country’s disproportionate reliance on the petro-dollar economy, agriculture was relegated to the background, leading to the abandonment of farming, a scramble for white colour jobs and rural-urban migration.
In recent years, the decline of crude oil revenue had piled pressure on oil-dependent countries to consider diversifying their economies and to come up with a viable alternative. Adama J Adama, CEO of two revolutionary agribusiness initiatives, Farm4Me.com and Viablex.com, has provided evidence that agriculture business can clearly become Nigeria’s mainstay and if taken seriously by government and individuals can usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity that surpasses the oil booms.
With just two month into after its official unveiling, Viable X has proven its creator and investors right that agriculture is a feasible business and a reasonable way of empowering members of the society. The growing number of registered members on the platform and the phenomenal volume of the transactions recorded so far speak volume about the impact the platform is making in Nigeria’s agriculture and insights to the long-term gains accruable to the country, farmers and the agribusiness community.
The positive response and the results are further reinforcements on the feasibility of agribusiness in a world turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
A viable approach to Agribusiness floated specifically for farmers, traders, agripreneurs and agro-allied investors, the National Export Promotion Council (NEPC)-licensed Viable X platform offers farmers instant loan, serves as a virtual marketplace for trading in farm produce and facilitates export financing for commodity.
The platform safeguards investors’ fund with goods-in-transit and marine insurance policies from Leadway Assurance and so far.
With the track records of fu investment dividends to Farm4Me Investors, 50% return on investment (ROI) in four months is a bankable promise for Viable X Export Financing Investors.
In a country where agriculture has been neglected and downgraded to the preoccupation of the rural poor, providing collateral-free loans, ranging from N50, 000 to N200, 000 for smallholder farmers, has been an innovative approach to turning around the fortune of agriculture and those working in the sector in Nigeria. “All that is required is three guarantors and credit history verification from credit bureau, and a loan is granted and extendable by repayment,” reveals Adama J. Adama, Viable X’s CEO.
Adama has been an initiator of game-changing agriculture initiatives since the debut of his first initiative Farm4Me, a Nigerian premium agribusiness outfit that successfully pioneered contract farming in Nigeria since 2019 till date.
Of the viability of Viable X, he avows, “the platform was created to change the face of agribusiness in Nigeria.”
The level of patronage, he reveals, has been very encouraging, an assertion backed up by encouraging figures: over 6, 000 members enrolled on the platform in less than two months, and the volume of transactions on the platform exceeding N100 Million, with export financing attracting the highest patronage.
Viable X’s goal of attracting 100,000 registered members by December 2020 is not farfetched in view of the success recorded in its first few weeks.
“Our passion is to raise 1000 commodity trading millionaires in 2025. We are committed to keeping our promise and therefore ready to go the extra miles to satisfy our members,” Adama reiterates his objectives of raising millionaires on the platform.
“We will not rest on our oars. We will continue to make giant strides, raising more millionaires,” he adds.
Viable X at inception was touted as an initiative with capabilities to boost job creation and foster economic empowerment through innovative agribusiness approaches.
The prospects have materialized with the provision of soft loans and creating a viable platform that helps farmers to market their products with ease.
Riding on the success of Farm4Me, Viable X is the second innovative approach to agricultural business pioneered by Adama. The first was his boundary-pushing Farm4Me platform which specialises in contract farming for interested clients.
“It is simply about contracting a farmer to farm for you and deliver a specified quantity of farm produce to a specified location on a specified date, or sell the produce and pay the client in cash” explained Adama, who took the pain to distinguish contract farming from crowd farming which is simply the pooling of funds to sponsor a farming project and sharing of the profit by the fundraisers.
Explaining the dynamics of Farm4Me, hailed as first-of-its kind in Nigeria, Adama said: “Potential clients who signs up on the website receives a breakdown of the cost, projected yield and profit document that enable them to make a decision on the crop and the hectares of land.”
He continued: “After, Farm4Me is notified, the service agreement is sent to the potential client to study carefully, sign and send back. We sign our part of the service agreement and send the final copy to the potential Client. Once the contract has been activated, invoice is generated and sent to the potential client. Once we are notified about payment, work begins immediately on the farming project. On a milestone basis, the client is informed on the progress of the farm.”
Again, as it is with Viable X, investors in Farm4Me are also protected against loss by Leadway Assurance which insures the farms to minimise risk. In the instance of a yield below the invested capital, for example, Farm4Me undertakes to refund the client’s capital, thereby providing an insulation that shields the client from the risks associated with farming, Adams explains.
The client can take advantage of other services offered by the agribusiness firm. Farm4Me can, for instance, help the client to sell the farm produce at the prevailing market price (if he so wishes) and credit the client’s bank account or harvest and ship the produce to the client’s doorstep on an agreed date.
Like Viable X, Farm4Me also attracted a lot of interest. “We receive on the average 15 sign-ups every day,” Adams confirmed.
He added: “We have a good number of clients that have paid us to farm for them.”
The economic impact of this revolutionary approach to farming has been immediate and obvious.
Within its first nine months, Farm4Me created economic opportunities for a vast number of people including landowners, tractor operators, vulnerable women and youths who engage in farm labour as well as farm input suppliers.
With at least, 20, 000 people working directly and indirectly with Farm4Me, the opportunities evolving from its operations tallies with its CEO’s vision to build a Nigerian multibillion-dollar agribusiness company with tangible social impact.
Brighter days ahead
Given the dynamics of its first few months of operation, the exploits of the Viable X platform has further attested to the merit of salvaging Nigeria’s fortune by diversifying the country economy include significant investment in agriculture by Nigerians.
According to Viable X’s CEO: ” Agriculture is a money-spinner. We are exploring innovative ways to make it attractive to Nigerians, especially, graduates.”
Adama further avowed: “By 2030, Nigerians will now see beyond Oil and Gas and see agriculture as a viable alternative through our success story.”