These day, it’s rare to see a youth who’s interested in agriculture. And not just a youth, a female youth.
Meet Angel Oluwayimika Adelaja, a city farmer who wants to change how Agriculture is perceived. Adelaja is the CEO of Fresh Direct Nigeria, an environmentally friendly, organic agricultural production and processing company that also deals in manufacturing agricultural equipment and technology.
After trying her hands on traditional agriculture, she faced a number of challenges, including securing a land, accessing to technology, transport, investing in infrastructure and a host of others. As a result of too many challenges, she chose to make it easier with urban farming.
Adelaja founded Fresh Direct in 2014, with a goal to make agriculture easy and fun for young people, empower them with employment and strengthen them to also be successful employers of labour.
In an interview with The Nation, she revealed, “when I decided to invest in agriculture, it was then I realized how difficult it really was to effectively enter a sector that should be so accessible. So, if I could face such challenges, what about other youths? I really was pushed more by a need to make it simpler for others. My passion grew as I started to use science and business to build sustainably within the sector.”
Fresh Direct Nigeria is city farming using stackable container farms. The company brings fresh premium organic produce closer to the market with a Container Farm Technology. Using hydroponics and vertical farming within a shipping container, the Container Farms are able to grow directly in urban areas.
The company is also developing and managing Urban Farm Campuses as Nigeria’s first truly “urban farm” with its Fresh Direct Container Farms.
According to Adelaja, “this is the solution that youths are looking for. It’s not back breaking, it’s fun, and there’s less set up costs compared to rural agriculture. Plus, there’s no headache getting produce to market when growing in the city.
Customers such as luxury hoteliers, restaurants, supermarkets and specialty stores are looking to source these highly perishable products from reputable providers without having to source foreign exchange. That is where we come in”.
Adelaja is looking to onboard 10,000 youth in areas that cut across agriculture and urban farming, distribution, sales/marketing, ag-tech and automation, expand the business across Africa and position it to be a solution for high quality premium produce.