Meet Joseph Okpaire, the best graduating student in his year from the department of Animal Science, University of Benin. He is a practicing agricultural expert who has a passion to develop humanity by playing a vital role in the food and agricultural sector.
He is currently the Head of Operations in a commercial livestock farm located in South Western Nigeria.
He was an agribusiness developer for commercial farms in Eastern Nigeria where he developed and managed the poultry, piggery, crop, fisheries sections for various clients.
He is an expert in industrial chicken processing, post-mortem analysis of livestock, artificial insemination in pigs, fish hatchery management, livestock nutrition, strategic project management, crop agronomy especially in maize, cassava, vegetables, and developing agribusiness proposals and production plans, etc.
Joseph, in spite of his very busy workload is currently undertaking studies in Business Management and he’s an advocate for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In his opinion, agriculture is profitable but the main thing is how and where you sell it, he also stated that if your cost of input is low, there is a higher chance of making more profit. When asked about his challenges, he cited the problems of post-harvest losses, the interference of middlemen and lack of capital and incentives from government institutions to help small scale farmers.
His advice to new farmers or intending farmers is that they should endeavour to find out improved methods or techniques of agricultural production, they should strive to do strict marketing of their products to reduce the influence of middle men. He also stated that they should form or join cooperatives or cluster group to enable bulk selling of their produce at higher prices.