How Kano woman is turning agribusiness into a wealth-creating sector

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By Hadiza Musa Yusuf

Mariya Musa, 24, hard-nosed to leverage the various opportunities within the confinement of her reach, has forged ahead, making a fortune in Agribusiness.

The young C.E.O. shared her story with our correspondent on how she defied all odds, including parochial stereotypes to lead the way for a thriving business endeavor.

Mariya’s company, incorporated as Eeman Foods and Dairy Products, trades in processed agricultural milk and other farm produce such as fresh yogurt and its associated brands.

In the pursuit of her entrepreneurial drive, she said, from day one her family served as the greatest motivating factor having been business-oriented.

“My parents had helped me with startup capital twice, but both attempts failed due to various reasons.

“The first was as a result of forgetting the raw materials in a tricycle,” she recounted.

Undeterred, Mariya used her own money to start her agribusiness.

Mariya also recalled how she had previously tried her hand at several other businesses, but her passion for agriculture inspired her to focus on making an impact in agriculture.

The entrepreneur revealed that she sourced her milk from the Fulani in their settlement or milk-producing companies to make her branded sweetened yogurt and milk.

“I make the millet myself (fura) to make it more appealing to my customers.

“I sell to individuals in retail and wholesale to some shops within my community.

“I also take it to some schools, suya joints, and hospitals.”

Despite the success of her business, Mariya is faced with several challenges.

One significant challenge is electricity, as her products have a limited shelf life, and power outages can cause spoilage.

She says, “One of my challenges is electricity because our products are something that spoils on time, and a generator is not always an option.”

“My products are things that need constant electricity and with generator, it means I have to increase the price I sell my things which for startups it’s not advisable.”

Another challenge she said was the delivery.

Some delivery men are reluctant to travel to areas outside the Kano metropolis, which can limit the reach of Mariya’s products.

“I mostly deliver the product myself, which can be limited and stressful and when you call on delivery men to help you, they do not like coming as far as my area,” she said.

Despite these challenges, Mariya remains optimistic and encourages young people to dive into business, regardless of the challenges.

“I advise young people to dive into business, not necessarily agricultural-wise but they can diversify because it encourages one to be self-reliant, we cannot always wait and rely on the government to provide job opportunities for us”.

Mariya’s plans include becoming a well-known businesswoman, grooming youths, and contributing to the growth of Nigeria’s economy through agriculture.

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