Fishery is not a business you just venture into out of the blues. It takes committment to begin and sustain such a business. Agropress had a one-on-one discussion with AquaVest and how the brand has been sustaining till date. Enjoy!
AGROPRESS: Good evening sir. How are you doing?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: Good evening. I am very well
AGROPRESS: Good. Kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
IREOLUWATOMIWA: My name is Ajiferuke Ireoluwatomiwa. A 5th year student of Agricultural Economics.
AGROPRESS: Tell us your interests sir.
IREOLUWATOMIWA: Agriculture, soccer, cooking and traveling amongst others
AGROPRESS: Nice. You served as the faculty’s social minister 2 sessions ago, how would you say the experience was for you?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: It was adventurous. I couldn’t really give my all due to the several truncations that occurred in that session due to industrial actions and all.
AGROPRESS: Oh. You probably had other things you wanted to do.
Tell us about your business.
IREOLUWATOMIWA: Okay, I am a catfish farmer. I deal in breeding, processing and selling of catfish to retailers and sometimes final consumers
AGROPRESS: Interesting. So, about your brand, what inspired you?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: I have always loved Agriculture and I knew I would venture into agriculture since my Junior secondary school days, but what really triggered the start of my brand, AquaVest, was my IT placement at Agropark. My first place of assignment was at the Fisheries department and I immediately fell in love even though it was stressful.
AGROPRESS: Cool. So, since when did you start the business?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: A year and a month.
AGROPRESS: That was in 2020, right?
AGROPRESS: Okay. Seeing that school is in session now and this particular business is time consuming, how do you balance your academics together with it?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: Yes, I got a couple of staffs that work with me and thanks to the virtual system I have been able to multi task and all.
AGROPRESS: That’s great. Thanks to technology
Clearly you have the passion, how did Agropark make the starting of AquaVest easy for you being that your course of study isn’t so similar to Fisheries?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: You’re wrong. Agricultural Economics encompasses everything in Agriculture, and as an economist I measured the profit margin while incurring less input. So, everything works together for good.
AGROPRESS: Our readers can see you are showing your department’s arrogance. All well and good.
So, explain to us the measurement process and how everything worked together for the good of AquaVest? Things you considered in measuring the profit margin et al before you started AquaVest?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: I considered the number and intensity of the labour needed, the space and capital needed to start and the duration in which you can start getting your profit.
AGROPRESS: You are really showing us why you are an Agricultural Economics student.
Where do you see your business in the next few years?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: I have plans of bringing the international to the national because an average wild cut catfish in America is close to 5ft and we are having a constraint in Africa here due to our cropping system. When it comes to fishing, in America, farmers pay the government and the government feed the fishes that will be harvested later by the farmer in the wild.
So, I see my business big and being able to work on food security problem we have in Nigeria.
AGROPRESS: That’s a big vision, an achievable one at that.
So, what challenges have you faced within months of being into business and was there a time you felt like quitting due to one reason or the other?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: Definitely, the business is a very challenging one as you have to keep on pumping in money to the business till you have your profit, and the market fluctuates a lot. Sometimes, your fish might have to stay longer in the pond than necessary, hereby, incurring more loss and reducing your profit and I have faced those a couple of times.
AGROPRESS: That must have been really challenging indeed.
Do you have mentors in the field, or those you look up to in the business?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: My Major mentor is the Director of Agropark. He dreamt and brought it to life and that is what I want to do.
AGROPRESS: Cool, I believe our readers would like to know his name. We believe you are already bringing your dreams to life.
Are you in contact with him (Director of Agropark)? And do you have active mentees in this line as well?
Basically, how is being a mentee and a mentor (if you are one) like for you?
IREOLUWATOMIWA: He is Mr Sola Olunowo. And I haven’t been in contact with him but his plan and projects have inspired me to do what I am doing.
During our placement at Agropark we had several lectures where I was opportune to ask questions and we got a brochure on how to go about things. And yes I have been a mentor to a couple of people and a free spirit gifted person that I am, I just tell people to not necessarily follow the process I did but just make sure it is done in whatever way it is convenient.
AGROPRESS: Thank you so much for your time.
Before you go, kindly advertise your business to our readers and how they can contact you.
IREOLUWATOMIWA: AquaVest is your sure plug for anything catfish! 08060206823 is the number! Cheers!
AGROPRESS: Thank you so much.