Angela Adelaja: Nigeria’s Premier Hydroponics Farmer
Ever heard of hydroponics farming? Experts defined Hydroponics as a subset of hydro culture, the method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil.
Yes without soil!
How possible is it one might ask? 21st century is a game changing era for agriculture, technology and cutting-edge innovation.
Hydroponics is a unique planting technique. Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-allied services, is a high-tech farm run by Angela Adelaja using hydroculture planting method to grow large quantity of fresh vegetables.
A graduate of epidemiology from Michigan University in the United States of America, Angela Adelaja, the founder of Fresh Direct hails from Osun state, south-west, Nigeria.
She is the CEO of Fresh Direct. Angela is not new to the rhetoric of business.
She worked as a research analyst for Nigeria’s Federal government. Angela was the special assistant to the Nigeria’s President on Wealth Creation. The Special Assistant to the National Coordinator to President on National Poverty Eradication Program. Research Consultant to the Economic Development and Partnership Office, Osun state.
As a social entrepreneur with years of experience, Adelaja began channeling her expertise to finding solutions to agricultural problems facing Nigeria’s everday people, especially the scarce land resources.
It was in the course of her work, Adelaja came across hydroponics.
It was a beautiful idea. She thought ordinary Nigerians who do not have access to land but want to farm – hydroponics is the answer.
Adelaja was energized by the technology. But then there was a downside. Hydroponics had to be imported and as such was expensive. So expensive that it was clearly out of reach for ordinary people whom she had in mind.
This was the first challenge Adelaja encountered. As founder of fresh Direct whose business model has been providing solutions she was not deterred.
Together with her team, Adelaja was able to produce indigenous hydroponics farming system, using locally made and recyclable items.
Today Fresh Direct produce and agro-allied service is a leading agro-allied company growing fresh vegetables and distributing meat to over 100 registered clients.
Agro-technology business is changing farming in Nigeria. With creation of hydroponics systems and green houses, you can grow fresh vegetables. All you need stack-able container farms made of local materials. Then little training in Hydroponics.
Adelaja emerged winner in the recent innovation competition. It was organized by Chivas Regal Company in Nigeria. Going forward, her main objective is youth empowerment. Help smaller farmers farm bigger.
It is her long held belief that Nigerian farmers compete better through cost-effective and more sustainable urban farming.