Nasir Yammama’s new company Verdant Agri-Tech grew out of his participation in the 2014 British Council-supported Enterprise Challenge.
It offers solutions to farmers and other stakeholders of the agricultural value-chain for improved productivity and profitability. The company's mission is to enhance agricultural sustainability in Africa by using simple technologies in increasing productivity, improving the efficiency of resource use, and reducing ecological impacts.
The start of Nasir’s entrepreneurship journey was launched by his winning the British Council Enterprise Challenge in 2014. This qualified him to be mentored by business magnate, Sir Richard Branson. His Professor at Middlesex University encouraging him to consider pursuing his idea for Verdant Agri-Tech, which was only the germ of an idea at that time.
“With these takeaways, I rebooted my entrepreneurial dream and for the most part of 2015 and 2016, worked towards turning ideas into actionable goals, and relentlessly pursuing opportunities that propelled me closer to my dream. This involved starting a company in Abuja, going to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Boston and working with various partners in Europe and Africa to build solutions in Agriculture,” he says.
In less than a year, his enterprise experienced exponential growth in user base from 50 farmers in Katsina, his home state to 25,000 farmers.
According to him, this has been due to the collaborative efforts channelled into onboarding stakeholders like the All Farmers Association of Nigeria and partnerships with international donor organisations such as OXFAM and German Corporation as well as State Governments in Northern Nigeria.
His recent citation as one of Africa’s young entrepreneurs doing great things, on the Forbes 30 under 30 gives credence to this claim. In June 2017, he badged the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award in England. He attributes these recent accomplishments to his choice to remain in Nigeria despite the hurdles associated with running a start-up.“The Enterprise Challenge has been a remarkable competition which I thoroughly enjoyed. I believe it has not only developed my skills but exposed me to a whole new way of looking things from writing to pitching and presentation,” he says. “The calibre of people I have been able to interact and network with is the absolute thing every aspiring entrepreneur and innovator wishes to associate with. Meeting Sir Richard Branson was a priceless opportunity that I will continue to value immensely.”