Many people are agriculturalists but not agripreneurs and when they hear or read the word ‘Agripreneur’ it sounds strange or new to them, yet it can simply be translated into agriculture for money, commercial farming, or an entrepreneur in Agriculture.
Africa is recognized as the future breadbasket of the world, but according to reports from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the African Development Bank (ADB), the continent’s annual import bill is estimated to rise from US$35 billion to $100 billion by 2030.
In order to continue being the world’s food basket while at the same time being able to service the debt burden, Africans will have to generate as much income as they can from agriculture, which is already the backbone of many African countries.
The only way to achieve this is to come up with innovations in agriculture for not only purposes of value addition to agricultural produce but also to improve farming technology, harnessing more markets across the world and helping the common farmer earn a sustainable livelihood from agriculture.
It is for this reason that Publics Africa Communications initiated the ‘I am an Agripreneur’ project, with a mission to create a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector that specifically empowers young farmers ages 18-35 years to venture into agriculture, forge strong markets in Uganda and improve global food security.
How PR Is Shaping the Future of Agriculture
It should be noted that unlike a few years ago when the fields of Public Relations and agriculture were not directly related, the recent past has shown that actually the two sectors need each other in order to thrive.
In fact, Steve Conway, a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert, contends that PR can play a great role at enlightening consumers, farmers, and all stakeholders about the agricultural sector. If the agricultural sector in Uganda is to be fully utilized to generate income, it needs as much PR as the mining, banking, oil, and gas, or any other sector.
“In the past few years, the agricultural sector has seen some significant changes. In many ways, this has been due to a shift in consumer habits, a trend that is subsequently going to shape the industry as we head into another decade,” Conway says.
He adds that; “To support the changing trends in this sector, PR is helping to shape the farming and agricultural industry. For instance, if practiced properly, PR can be an effective tool necessary to coordinate communication between farmers, suppliers, veterinary doctors, processors, and the finaL consumers of agricultural produce.”
PR in agriculture plays a big role when it comes to bridging the gap between the farmers and the consumers through ensuring both parties understand each other, know the demand for specific products, and when such products should be available on the market. It can also help farmers identify the suitable pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, good seed quality or animal breeds plus the best machinery and farm equipment available on the market, including their prices.
It is for that reason that Agriculturally active brands in Uganda work with Publics Africa Communications for agricultural communications, PR, and marketing strategies.
This is because PR lays the foundations of brand awareness and stimulates brand messages across many channels and marketing funnels, even when dealing with the agripreneur sector. Buzzwords and trends are utilized, and specialized agricultural marketing messages are helping to break down the convenience and on-the-go attitude.
“Through the ‘I am an Agripreneur’ project, our aim is to teach the young farmers how to build strong Agribusiness brands because people are always attracted by the brand quality which then creates brand loyalty,” said Joseph Kanyamunyu, the CEO of Publics Africa Communications.
“When consumers know and trust a business or sector, it becomes easier to bring more products and services to the forefront. Our role as a PR firm is to enhance the brand awareness of those in the agricultural sector,” Kanyamunyu added.
Through ‘I am an Agripreneur’, Publics Africa Communications aims at creating effective agricultural communications strategies for innovators and leaders in agriculture and agtech (Agricultural Technology), plus changing people’s perceptions about agricultural brands, products, and sectors, with an objective of increasing visibility and awareness.
As an Agripreneur therefore, incorporating PR services into your business will enable you to recognize what’s important to your end-users (consumers) and what influences them as they make their decisions before purchasing products. This KYC (Know Your Customer) in tun helps a farmers to understand their consumers’ and investors’ priorities.
To achieve this, farmers have to be savvy about stakeholders in the agricultural sector and make sense of their behavior, so as to identify barriers to adoption and devise solutions for them.