By: Linda Dede Nyanya Godji Incoom
Nigeria, with a population of over 200 million people, has the largest market in Africa. Despite its substantial arable land area, the country relies heavily on imports to meet its food and agricultural product needs.
According to a report by the International Trade Administration, Nigeria relies on $10 billion of imports to meet its food and agricultural production shortfalls (mostly wheat, rice, poultry, fish, food services, and consumer-oriented foods). Despite the continuous government push to boost local production capacity in recent years, Nigeria still spent a in importing food. In 2022 lone, the country spent a whooping N1.9 trillion importing food.
It is for this reason, Otali Dorcas, founder of the Ota Dorcy Greenworld, is poised to contributing her quota to changing the narrative. She holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Food Science and Technology.
According to Ms. Dorcas, food is among the basic need of life that one depends on every day, and her driving force is to contribute her quota in ensuring that there is availability of food produced locally which will increase the nation’s GDP. “My country food import is estimated to be about 22 billion dollars. This is because our local production cannot meet up the country’s local consumption. This leaves a huge gap for the local farmers.” She added.
Ota Dorcy Greenworld, is an integrated agro base company into commercial farming, food processing and training of young women in modern agriculture. Dorcas’ farming project is a game-changer in the commercial food production industry in Nigeria, as it converts even waste into raw input in its technology agricultural cycle. Her ultimate goes to reduce the food deficit when it comes to poultry, fish and vegetables in Nigeria.
Ota Dorcy Greenworld uses greenhouses and smart agriculture technologies and Interestingly, her farm has zero percentage use of chemical fertilizer, making it a sustainable model for agriculture.
“We started the project with 100 broilers and 500 fishes and within 3 years we have grew to 1000 laying birds and 5000 fish capacity. Our capacity is expanding rapidly year after year. For the crops we started with pepper, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, and plantain. We grow crops all year round using greenhouse and smart irrigation system.” She stated.
Ms. Otali Dorcas is proud of her project because she believes that it aligns with the Nigerian government’s efforts to reduce food imports by producing more food all year round. Her commitment to reducing Nigeria’s dependence on food imports is one of the core motivations for her project.
As an advocate of women’s empowerment, she is passionate about training young women in modern agriculture as a way to reduce unemployment among women. By training young women in modern farming practices and equipping them with the necessary tools, she believes they will be able to create their businesses in the agricultural sector, improve their livelihoods and ultimately produce enough foods to help reduce the country’s food imports.
“Since its inception in 2018, Ota Dorcy Greenworld has trained over 30 women who are practicing sustainable agriculture in divers’ ways.” She said.
Despite the challenges that come with being a young female farmer in a male-dominated industry, Dorcas is determined to make a difference. She has invested a lot in her project and continues to work tirelessly to make it a success. Her innovative approach in commercial farming and commitment to sustainability has been recognized locally and internationally.
Through her unwavering dedication and unique approach to farming, Ms Otali Dorcas is a shining example of what’s possible when young people are passionate about making change happen. She is a role model for other women in agriculture, inspiring them to follow in her footsteps and make their mark in the industry.