More and more young Africans are discovering that they can make farming a profitable career.
Enayon Anthony is from a rural part of Delta state in Nigeria. Anthony loved the catfish his mother raised and cooked for family meals throughout his youth. He even enjoyed feeding the fish. Eventually, he determined that fish could provide him with a livelihood.
“You can be a farmer and still make a good and honest living from it,” says the successful fish farmer and YALI Network member.
Anthony, 28, raises his stock with care. He buys fingerlings from a friend at a good price, feeds them nutritious commercial feed and regularly checks the quality of the water in his pond, which is connected to a river. If he determines that the pond’s water quality has declined or that the fish are not eating, he drains the pond and refills it with fresh water, which he treats to control bacteria.
“I have to check my fish every day,” he says.
It takes six months for fingerlings to grow to the size where they can be harvested and sold. “We sell the fish we harvest right on the farm,” Anthony says, adding that sales are good. His primary customers are local women fishmongers, who sell the catfish in local markets.
“It is profitable selling catfish compared to other farm products,” he says, adding that farm-grown fish are less expensive than river fish. His goal is to expand his catfish farm to become one of the largest in West Africa.
“A lot of youth are coming into catfish farming,” he says. “The future of catfish is very bright.”
He wants other YALI Network members to understand that agriculture “is one sector that can move Africa to the next level” by providing both income and employment opportunities.
On a larger scale, Anthony says,“the agriculture sector is big. … Let’s feed Africa and beyond.”
Anthony praises the YALI Network for “really opening my eyes and mind to dreaming” and “meeting people of like minds who have the same dream about Africa.”
“I call it the #AfricanDream,” he says.
“I am personally committed to an Africa that works fairly for Africans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds,” he continues.
“Thanks for YALI.”
Other young Africans have been sharing their experiences in agricultural expansion. Read more:
Namibian Family Farm Group Strives to Expand
Benin Gardeners Tap Land and Water to Create a Small Business