Women are breakimg barriers in agriculture despite the challenges they are facing. Amon them is Madam Yemisi Iranloye who lives in Alayide Village, Ado-Awaye, Iseyin Local Government, Oyo State. But it doesn’t take too long to discover that she has a remarkable story to tell.
A cassava farmer, she started cultivating on about 10,000 hectares of land and expanded to cassava processing and established a starch factory at Alayide Village.
The factory has a capacity to process over 50 tonnes of cassava daily.
For starters, as well as small farmers, Madam Iranloye, the chief executive, Psaltry International, is one of the women playing in the cassava big league.
She has on her company’s payroll over 200 workers, contract staff and labourers engaged in tending the cassava farms as well as many farmers engaged in her out-grower scheme. Madam Iranloye is making wealth, farmers that had been consigned to the backwaters of poverty because they planted cassava.
From the beginning, her business was established with farmers’ welfare at heart. She produces high quality cassava and runs an efficient business. She earns a decent guaranteed income for her produce, and participates in the way the produce is brought to the market and in educating others.
She is involved in administering the money flowing back into the cassava communities from farming –money that pays for clean water well, and new farming equipment. There is an infectious confidence about her today. Her story showed the difference farming can make to communities.
She is focused on improving agriculture with modern innovations and involvement of women. Her goal is to educate and empower women. She also empowers women to make decisions in agricultural activities and educate them about the various government programmes and schemes that are beneficial to them. If given financial support, she believes that small-scale growers could transform into major farmers with high incomes.
Women face many challenges that preclude them from owning or managing land and other assets. But she overcame such challenges as erratic weather, poor seeds, expensive fertiliser and a lack of advice and others.
Cynthia Mosunmola Umoru is another trailblazer. Currently, Technical Adviser, Youth & Gender, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), a lot of corporate women farmers look up to her. She has spent the last 10 years building her entrepreneurial career in agriculture. She started Honeysuckles PTL Ventures straight out of college, and today the business is engaged in farming, food processing and distribution. The company runs its flagship retail outlet Farmshoppe in Ikeja, Lagos offering a wide range of farm produce, including poultry products, eggs, snails, cat fish and vegetables.
She is very hard working and is determined to help change the fortunes of others as well.
Credit: The Nation