"Agriculture is profitable if you like it, you are close to it, know it and respect the requirements of the experts / technicians. I refuse when pepople blame the technicians. The project holders must understand that we don’t practice agriculture by proxy", he said to participants in his inaugural speech at the seminar of the agridigitale newspaper held Saturday in Lome.
For him, the success of any agricultural project requires from the promoter a certain proximity to the site of realization of his project and the recourse to the expertise of the institutions set up by the State (Icat, Itra, etc.) whose doors are always open.
Beginners, he advised should start from half hectare then gradually expand the farm on several hectares. Dr. Kpemoua also reminded participants of the need to invest in irrigation not to wait for the rain before producing.
The 7 principles for successful breeding
On these principles, Minga Sansane, Director of Merveille des Temps, remained uncompromising on their respect before embarking on the breeding of poultry and small ruminants.
He cited among others, the guarantee of the domain (site) on which the breeding will be made, the use of expertise for the construction of enclosures, availability and motivation etc.
Above all, on the domain's guarantee, the speaker shared bitter experiences and recommended that participants make every effort to own the domain or, in the case of a lease, to require more paperwork.
Misery is not inevitable
It is the credo of Antoine Dzamah, head of the Sichem center who thinks it is a pure aberration to say that Africa is poor with all the wealth it has.
"We do not miss anything in Africa, we must unblock from our heads that we are poor, and if we are poor, it's because we don't like to consume what we produce. We are poor because we prefer everything from abroad while refusing to consume our own products", he analyzes.
For him, the transformation of products and their consumption remains an imperative today if we want to see Africa stand.
"Without transformation, we cannot stimulate growth. If we don’t act on the transformation, asphyxiation will continue and we will always remain poor", added him before inviting participants to embark on the transformation of their agricultural products.
He gave the example of the Sichem center, which makes lemon syrups, artemesia, papaya, mangos jams, tomato paste and so on.
"We are gaining in value by transforming our products", he confessed, assuring participants that Sichem Center is transforming all these technologies to learners who want them.
The packaging sells the product more than 50%
According to Arsene Agbeko, packaging expert, one thing is to transform the product but the other thing is that it is well presented to encourage the final consumer to purchase.
He multiplied examples by touching the failures of agricultural entrepreneurs who neglect the packaging of their products. "We will explode local production if the packaging is successful," he noted.
For him, packaging alone gives weight to the product and allows it to cross different borders while generating significant gains if all conditions are met.
"For example, a product destinated the US market, one must ensure that the label on the product is in English, have certifications and so on," he suggests.
He urged the participants to use the specialists in the matter in case of difficulties, a guarantee to better sell the product in different markets.
Know how to play your card with the banker
Marius Bagny, engineer and head of Shalev-Tech Cabinet did not go four ways. He unveiled everything the banker is looking for before financially supporting a project.
Mr. Bagny cited for example the realism of the project, the business model, the financial plan, the promises of orders, the stage of progress of the project, etc.
He also touched the profile of the project leader (knowledge, know-how, well-being, his support, etc.) before unpacking the tips to convince the banker to disburse the money for the project.
The engineer Bagny also exposed on the choice of the agricultural equipment which should not depend on chance affirming the availability of the engineers to accompany the carriers of project.
For participants from Bafilo, Sokode, Kpalime and Lome, the quality of the lessons received met their expectations.
"This is the kind of initiative that we encourage at the level of the Ministry of Agriculture because it fits well with our agricultural policy which focuses on training," greets Jacques Agbenyigan AYITE, Agroeconomist at the Directorate of Agriculture,Training, Dissemination of Technical and Professional Agricultural Organizations (DFDTOPA) at the Ministry of Agriculture, representing the Minister.
Unanimously, the participants understood that one does not venture into the agricultural sector. It is essential to be trained.
"What I keep of all that has been said is that to succeed in the agricultural field, you have to be organized, rigorous and love what you do. Especially at the level of secrets to make a successful farm, I remember the importance of the choice of the crop according to the soil and on the other hand the certified seeds and to be always present on the farm", says Poyodi Mandaessoliou, lawyer by training and farmer.
"In the absence of packaging, there are thousands of products that are rotting. At the same time, products that are not worth their weight are invading their environment. For example, my mustard based on nere, 100% natural is there while at the same time imported cubes that are not safe are very popular, but thanks to this training, I found a solution to my problem", adds Samah Awal-Tchari, from Bafilo (400 km from Lome).
End of a journey that began in January 2019
The seminar in Lome marks the end of a long journey since January when the team of the newspaper of agricultural economic intelligence in Africa www.agridigitale.net goes through the five (5) regions of Togo (Notse, Sokode, Kara, Dapaong and Lome) to train agricultural entrepreneurs, 150 nationwide.
For the leaders of the newspaper, it is a total success because the beneficiaries will bring a significant change in their environment through the lessons learned.
The basic concept launched by agridigitale, namely, "The collective delivery of mentalities" worked and the first results will be appreciated both by the decision-makers and the beneficiaries themselves.