Remember nobody wishes to buy rotten fruits or bad perishables farm produce. Monetary value of a fruit depend largely on its state of freshness. Heat, bacteria infections among many other factors that affect fruits while transporting it through long distance. Most farmers producing perishables harvest and sell very fast and cheap to
avoid spoilage, and largest percentage of risk within the perishable goods value chain system is taken by traders.
Trading perishables can be so profitable because the farmers wish to sell out on time after harvest and make little gain while the traders takes the risk upon him/her self to transport these goods from farm to most populated part of the country where people don’t have access to fresh farm produce and they depend on this traders for fruits.
Perishable agricultural farm produce-traders tend to make 100% profit on every trade/ investment at the same time, when the business goes toward negative direction, they tend to lose 60% of invested fund on the business.
We shall discuss briefly on 3 major factors that affect perishables agricultural farm produce business and as a young agropreneur, you must work on these factors to see your business successful or grow with time.
Hint* as a young agropreneur, never venture into this type of business if you don’t have market for it. Do not procrastinate on how profitable the business is before buying from farm. Work effectively on your supply and prospective buyers or agent before going to buy from the farmers. This alone is one of the key ways to avoid lost or bad business.
Transportation: These factors play the most important role in perishables business. Except you have your own logistics department in place, it’s going to be a bit difficult in most especially when you wanted to start little and your load can not full one truck at a time, in this cases, consolidation of goods become only option which causes delay, lost of goods and spoilage of goods. Moving perishables farm produce in some advance countries can be done effectively by Train (refrigerated containers) but in the case of Nigeria, we depend largely on road transport system. Bad road network, long distance and unforeseen mechanical problems of the truck is undisputed. So if you are going into tomatoes or banana business, work so much on the effective mode of transportation.
Note: Travelling a long distance within a short period of time is important. Nobody buys rotten fruits or goods at a good or premium price.
Heat/ High Temperature: Most fruits or perishables agricultural produce of high economic value keep up its freshness at a lower temperature. High temperature encourages the ripening process which speed up the rate at which the fruit ripe and probably gives a favorable condition for bacteria growth on the outer-most part or skin of the fruit. The higher the temperature, the higher the rate of spoilage. As a young agropreneur, check carefully the type of truck that will favor the transportation of your goods from the farm to your preferred market location, open body truck, cover body truck, flat-bed or cold room.
Market: with my experience of doing this business in the past, it’s very easy to get frustrated as a starter if the big players in the market don’t want you to stay. After you have concluded and choose one particular fruit or group of fruits to buy, it’s better to go to the major market of the fruit and makes your intension known to the chairman of the market. He/she will be happy to put you through and most of the time encourages you to join their market association. This alone will help you so much both in selling your goods faster and also be introduced to major fruits buyers in no time.
Note: what I have discovered about young agropreneur is that, they want everything come easy. They forgot that “easy come easy go” No business is easy as most people will say, we always encourage starters to get involve more in the field rather than relying on what people say and fake internet testimonies.
Hint* Remember that most active traders don’t have time to stay on the internet to share testimonies, they are always busy and you need to meet them on the field to gain experience not phone call or chat.