How do you feel when a new poultry farm opens up around your area? or a friend who used to think agriculture was a dirty job all of a sudden starts a fish farm? I know I used to feel weird and my mum felt the same way too- I mean, she didn’t say it but I could see it in her eyes and her actions (she stopped talking to her friend once. lol). But thinking about it, how healthy do you think competition is in the Agricultural sector? for us as Agriculturists, the one thing we really care about is our market, and we start to feel insecure when it looks like someone else is getting too close to that sacred space. I feel competition should drive us to provide the best quality produce possible, that’s the only way you can maintain your market, and also expand it.
In this ‘new agriculture’ we need to work together, not seeing each other as competitors, but as friends, partners all striving to attain the same goal – a more sustainable agriculture. we would be amazed at the amount of things we can learn from each other. Each farmer is unique with his or her own skill set, it doesn’t matter if its the same crop or animal, we all have specific ways of carrying out our farming, and when these skill sets are put together, our ‘goal’ is not farfetched.
These days i feel a little bit of joy when i see someone else venture into agriculture, because like it or not, only those bold enough can start a farm and also because i have realized that one person alone cannot provide food for an area, it doesn’t matter how small or large the area is. A ‘new neighbor’ tends to take the pressure off, especially if you do not have enough resources to meet the demands of your area.
So instead of us feeling bad or weird when we get a ‘new neighbor’ i think we should be glad, encourage and work with them, while working hard to keep your product in the market. By the way, we have all these dreams of agriculture becoming a source of Forex in Nigeria, and we do need more hands!
How have you handled competition in the past? I would love to hear from you in the comments section