Dr. Andreas Wesselmann, a German entrepreneur and scholar who is also the Managing Director of Africrops, noted that in Africa, agriculture especially organic farming, if well managed can be a profitable venture that can help communities to thrive and prosper. Agriculture however is still viewed as either a subsistence industry or side project for individuals with full-time jobs in other sectors hence making it unpopular.
Speaking during a seminar convened by Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, and attended by staff and students of the faculty of Agriculture JKUAT, October 5, 2017, he added that Entrepreneurship in agriculture can be a tool to sustain economic growth, create employment and improve the quality of life of a nation.
Dr. Wesselmann, urged those who want to venture in agricultural entrepreneur to ask themselves what Africa has that the world needs. According to him the world is now focused on the consumption of organic products to enhance healthy living and most sales are in Europe and North America with a global value of over 70 billion USD
Giving an example of his company, Africrops, based in Tanzania, Dr. Wesselman said the demand of Moringa, Baobab and Hibiscus products has been high thus showing that the consumption of organic products is higher than the production.
He advised the academia to link up with industry and research more on the production of organic products adding that research will be key in enhancing the value addition component of the organic products. He added that the majority we have engaged with ,lack knowledge and capacity on organic farming, adding that this knowledge gap can be easily filled by the researchers in our Universities by building capacity of organic farming in the continent.