- Background of the study
When talking about entrepreneurship in agriculture, it is termed as Agriculture Entrepreneurship or Agripreneurship. Agripreneurs, thus, do not differ from entrepreneurs in their basic traits. While profiling some of the agripreneurs (Chander, 2016, 2016a, b and c), I found them very articulate in personal, interpersonal and process skills. It is their pro-risk-taking attitude that makes them more likely to cash upon the opportunity available in new agricultural ventures compared to conventional farmers. They not only believe in new venture new gains, but also work consistently to prove themselves true. They are the trend setting farmers.
Like all entrepreneurs, agripreneurs are risk-takers who deliberately allocate resources to a business venture, in this case an agribusiness, to exploit opportunities in return for profit, they are the primary decision-makers, responsible for the businesses’ success or failure. The agripreneurs who are the focus of this publication are not subsistence entrepreneurs who engage in entrepreneurship as a survival strategy because there are no other options, their businesses are registered or enter the formal economy at least at some stage, and have achieved impact at scale in terms of sales, profits and jobs. Agripreneurs are not only engaged in production level activities, but create and develop agribusinesses all along and around the value chain.
Nigeria is a large country with very large population with the non-farming population concentrated in our big cities all over the country. Feeding the 160 million people in Nigeria today and at the same time conserving our environment is a great challenge facing our farmers and the Government. Thus, sustainable intensification as being practiced by our integrated Vegetable Farmers and Dealers in Ondo State is generally a way forward and an alternative to industrialized farming. Although this sustainable intensification of fruits production may not be a panacea itself it offers a useful approach to improving vegetable food availability given our situation. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO, 1992) estimated that about 790 million people are chronically undernourished in the developing regions of the world. Specifically, daily food consumption consists of mainly cereals, roots and tubers. This poor feeding habit predisposes the people to infections and such disease as typhoid fever, heart, liver and kidney disease due to poor body defense mechanisms. Fruits play a very important role in the nutrition and health (Hulme, 1971; Nagy and Shaw, 1980) especially as they contain substances which regulate or stimulate digestion, act as laxatives or diuretics, pectins and phenoic compounds which play a part in regulating the pH of the intestines. Fruits also contribute to the income of both the rural and urban dwellers. Horticultural crop production creates jobs. On average it provides twice the amount of employment per hectare of production compared to cereal crop production (Ali et al., 2002). The move from cereal production towards high-value horticulture crops is an important contributor to employment opportunities in developing countries (Joshi et al., 2003).