With our undaunted commitment to insight and to inform youths and the diaspora about the importance of agriculture in leveraging the Nation’s economy, I have the honour to present to you Oluwafemi Excel Salami of SailThrough Farms limited, an Extraordinaire Agro Entrepreneur… Read further as you get to know more about him.
Agricincome: Please can you introduce yourself to our readers and your agricultural background?
SailThrough Farms Limited: My name is Oluwafemi Excel Salami. I am both a Civil Servant and an Agro Entrepreneur. A lot of people think of me as an Extraordinaire Agro Entrepreneur because of the volume of experience I have and how much I have helped many get into agriculture/agribusiness. I am also called “the King of poultry feeds making” because of the unique concepts I have discovered that helps poultry farmers save at the least 30% on feeds cost just by making their own feeds. These methods/concepts have been taught to people in our master classes which they have applied with amazing results.
I am the founder and CEO of Cornucopia Farms (now SailThrough Farms limited after the process of changing a company name to a limited liability). SailThrough Farms is into Poultry farming with a current capacity of 700 broilers, commodity trading and other agro allied products, manufacturing and services. I am also the founder and initiator of the Millionaires in Agribusiness Revolutionary Movement (aka MIA). An online (telegram) community that’s driven by the vision of changing the way farmers have been perceived the past years, giving credence to the sector, encouraging the youth involvement in agribusiness/agriculture, raising giants in the industry through organizing seminars, masterclass and practical workshops and ensuring that farmers not only feed the Nations but become millionaires themselves in their own separate empires.
Agricincome: How long have you been in the business?
SailThrough Farms Limited: it will be 4 years by November this year.
Agricincome: What attracted you to agriculture?
SailThrough Farms Limited: It is my belief that Agriculture is Africa’s heritage. We are blessed with vast arable lands, different varieties of plants and animals and lots of mineral resources too. My view at agriculture is beyond just seeing it as an activity of raising animals or cultivating crops. I see people under utilizing the opportunities in this sector. I hated the fact that people in this sector are looked down on as many see farming as an activity meant for the poor or those who just want hard labour and low gains. I wanted this to change. This was what inspired me. I thought, if I could just get 10% of the over 180 million Nigerians (especially the youths) to see what i saw then I would have made my 1% contribution towards the growth of this country and this will affect the world too.
Agricincome: You are bound to face some challenges in sourcing capital at one point or the other. How did you surmount this challenge initially?
SailThrough Farms Limited: We were not in a hurry. We took things in a step wise manner. This helped us understand the business we do in and out and since we got better at what we do. It was easier to convince investors to invest with us. We had our records straight. Kept good practices and were diligent at what we do. Trust me, there are lots of people with dormant cash who want to put it somewhere they can earn a little more. They will only do this if they trust in the investment, believe it is stable and can be emotionally convinced that their money will be properly handled by an expert who will keep their word. What we do is simply show these people our records, show them evidence of our present and past investors’ business history with us and emotionally convince them of the impact the money they give us will bring to the Nation.
Agricincome: What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your business? And do you still encounter them to this day?
SailThrough Farms Limited: We had the challenge of land, technical experience and capital but like I explained earlier we learned through the process failed and then got better. We only face the challenge of land right now as we intend to expand to 5000 capacity by the year ending.
Agricincome: What’s the secret of the success you have achieved so far?
SailThrough Farms Limited: Diligence, shamelessness and the willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn. There is also focused and intentional actions and then collaboration. No one can go far alone.
Agricincome: How do you market your products?
SailThrough Farms Limited: We employ various strategies and channels some of which are:
1. Online sales: we sell both digital and physical products online using social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp etc.
2. We sell to directly to local markets within our reach. We sell at both retails and wholesales.
3. We sell to super stores, restaurants, hotels etc.
We are working on improving sells to international too.
Agricincome: What advice would you give to youths seeking a career in agribusiness?
SailThrough Farms Limited: Be sure this is what you want and pursue it will all seriousness with great focus, diligence, hard work and perseverance.
Take failure as a part of the process. Go through the process and win BIG!
Agricincome: How do you think young people can be supported to become more productive citizens?
SailThrough Farms Limited: Obviously it will be by creating jobs and the enabling environment for small businesses to thrive but since the government have failed in this. I will advise that the youth start right where they are. Use what you have for what you have is plenty (John Obidi). You will naturally attract support.
Agricincome: Lastly, any advice you would like to give other farmers?
SailThrough Farms Limited: Yes please. I will advise that you keep an open mind, refuse to be used to a single way of doing things, be willing to learn, relearn and unlearn and then go all out for innovation.
Agricincome: Thank You for your time sir
NOW OVER TO YOU READERS, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO ASK??