Africa has the youngest population in the world, and it’s growing fast. By 2055, the continent’s youth population (aged 15-24), is expected to be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million. Africa’s prosperity depends on harnessing the demographic dividend, the youth. Yet the continent remains stubbornly inhospitable to young people in all industry sectors. It is glaringly obvious there is need for youth in agriculture in Africa. Today we chat to Ano Makunike (23) a young farmer in South Africa who is disrupting the agricultural sector through his innovative company- Pick’d Produce.
What is Pick’d Produce about ?
Pick’d Produce exists to provide the community with fresh products that may assist consumers in living a healthy lifestyle. We are a 100% black owned entity that works with local farmers in the North West area. We believe in providing customers with fresh and quality products pick’d straight from the land, no storage and other facilities are used to maintain freshness, we deliver straight from the farm to your doorstep or office.
How is Pick’d Produce different from traditional businesses in the agricultural sector?
We are based online. How it works is that there is 4 easy steps:
STEP 1 : PICK YOUR PRODUCE
Our shop has a variety of fresh produce available. All you have to do is pick a box or which ever produce you would like.
STEP 2 : PICK DELIVERY DATE
Home deliveries are on Thursdays and Fridays, shop and catering deliveries are everyday of the week
STEP 3 : ADD YOUR INFORMATION
Provide us with your preferred delivery address, and contact details. We can deliver to your doorstep, shop or to your office.
STEP 4 : MAKE PAYMENT
Add your payment details. We accept direct transfer and cash on delivery including Ewallets. (all payments must be a minimum of R150)
What inspired you to start your company?
I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and I have tried to start many different businesses like a clothing label. When it came to Pick’d Produce I was inspired by the growing use of delivery companies like Uber Eats and thought it would be cool if you could have your fresh produce delivered to you as if you picked it yourself
How did you get into farming?
My family is very much into farming.
How do you start a business with limited resources?
For me I learnt to do everything myself. You might have limited resources like money but things like the internet and how to videos on youtube aren’t limited. Then I had a lot of help from friends I had made in varsity like my graphic designer who made the logo is a good friend of mine that took their time to help me out and create this look and feel.
What challenges did you face entering the agricultural market?
Agriculture in this country is very white dominated so it is pretty challenging as a young black man to get the necessary customers who buy at huge quantities that are enough to keep us going because of past relationships, contracts and systems put in place. There is more to it than just getting the land and farming it, to grow and stay alive you need to bigger and bigger customers
What message do you have for African youth?
It’s our time now to rise and create our own history, a history our parents and their parents couldn’t even imagine because of their time period. Africa has so much opportunity and as unfair as our circumstances are the only way we can move forward and be better as a people is by grabbing that opportunity and maximising it to its full potential. You got a great innovative idea? I suggest you follow up to it and bring it to life, no matter the age.
What message do you have for people interested in farming but don’t know how to start?
It’s really not as hard as it looks to be honest, just like anything else in life you have to just try it out. However you do need to work hard and thats the key to being successful at it, think of it as being responsible for feeding the country and if you do not do it at your best or don’t work hard at it you are failing the country.
What has been your greatest challenge since starting your business?
The greatest challenge would be getting people to believe in such a concept that doesn’t exist. People find it hard to believe they are gonna get fresh products delivered straight from the ground to their doorsteps at such low prices.
Why are industry disruptors, such as Pick’d Produce, important in 2019?
They important because they show the difference the young people can make in predominately older industries. Farming has always been around and done as basic as possible and the opportunity to change that is now there. Good fresh produce should be available and accessible to everyone at its best quality and affordable prices. I am excited to see what comes after Pick’d.
What is your hope for Africa?
My hope is that may it reach its full potential. As a people we are so smart and so creative yet limited. My hope is that we rise above that and start creating an Africa that is way better than its history so we can give it the history it deserves.
What do you hope to see change in the agricultural sector in South Africa?
I’d like to see the entire sector look at empowering the youth to get more and more involved. Thats how we get it to stop being a white generational owned industry, thats how the systems that were put in place before us get changed so they can benefit us as well.
Connect with Pick’d Produce:
Facebook: Pick’d Produce