Recall that we learnt earlier that the 'Gold' in agriculture is found in agribusiness and this is fully expressed in the agriculture value chain. The agriculture value chain presents the whole range of activities from the farm to the final customer or consumer. It is also referred to as agricultural activities from the FARM-to-the-TABLE.
It is in the agriculture value chain that various careers, skills and opportunities abound to make that huge difference in the nation's productivity which will improve and grow Nigeria's GDP. It is also in the agriculture value chain that many Nigerians will be empowered to create jobs, create wealth, make positive socio-economic impact and add value, not only to lives and the local environment, but also to the global economy.
The Agriculture Value Chain is made up of several and different players, all of whose work and participation brings about a holistic implementation of activities in the sector. The players are described as follows;
- The Producer: The producer is also known as the Farm Operator. They own/manage farms and are engaged in;
1. Crop (plants) Production
2. Livestock (animals) Production
3. Stock Production - they are nursery producers such as in day-old chicks, fingerlings, seedlings, seeds, etc.
- The Processor: They add value to primary produce by making them into products, whether domestic, commercial or industrial. It is the processor that makes, for example;
- Garri from cassava
- Custard powder from maize
- Chocolate from cocoa
- Yarn from cotton
- Oil from palm
- Beef from cattle, etc
- The Supplier: A supplier is that individual or organization that provides goods and/or services to others. In agribusiness, there are input and output suppliers with an array of products from equipment, implements and machinery, to medicines and fertilizers, just to name a few.
- The Service Provider: The players in the chain will need an array of services such as legal, real estate, book-keeping, capacity building, financial, business support, logistics, promotional and publicity services, etc, to support and grow their businesses.
- The Distributor: Distributors are the intermediary entities, like a bridge, between the producers and the consumers. They include the transporter, trader, supermarket, hotel and restaurant, exporter, bakery, etc, where and the means through which the consumer obtains the product/service.
- The Regulator: A regulatory body is a public organization or government agency responsible for exercising authority through the setting and enforcing of guidelines and standards over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity. In Nigeria, they include government agencies like National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS); Consumer Protection Council (CPC); trade associations like the Manufacturers' Association of Nigeria (MAN); business membership organizations like Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), etc.
- The Consumer: The consumer is the individual or organization that purchases goods and services for domestic, commercial and/or industrial use. The domestic consumers include the homes and households; the commercial consumers are the market traders, shops and supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, etc; while the industrial consumers are the factories, bakeries, etc.
In whichever area of the chain you may wish to participate in, as an entrepreneur or investor, all you need is to develop your interest; get more information about that aspect of the chain; identify your niche; get some entrepreneurship training; and start and grow your business.