Chairman & CEO of Jovana Integrated Farms
Prince Arinze Onebunne of Jovana Integrated Farms has been involved in the farming of grasscutter, snail, fish, mushroom for many years. He is a columnist in several newspapers and magazines, self-publisher of five books and a prolific writer of over five hundred articles. He has functioned effectively and successfully as a farmer, seminar facilitator in over thirty states in Nigeria and three other countries. An agric advocate, empowerment speaker and food activist.
Fifteen  odd years ago, Prince Arinze Onebunne was seeking a means of livelihood. Today, he is an acclaimed Animal husbandry expert, Trainer , Consultant and Advocate for Agriculture. He is also the Founder of one of Nigeria’s biggest farms- Jovana Farms which has been ranked amongst the top ten farms in Nigeria by The Leadership, closely trailing farms owned by the former President of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Farming, specifically Grasscutter farming, was what made the difference for him. For the unschooled eye, Grasscutters may resemble giant rats, but they are not. Grasscutter meat is healthy, lean, white meat and can apparently be bred in commercial proportions.
As soon as he discovered that it was possible to make a living off rearing Grasscutters, Prince made his life changing journey to Gabon to acquire his starter batch, and he has never looked back.
Why Prince Arinze Started
According to him, he started Living Foods Conservation and Utilization because “every one of us makes life critical decisions each day, and with each meal we are determining our short term and long term mental and physical health. Our food menus these days are so exotic that one would think we do not have natural dishes anymore. We now breed “artificial food children” who practically feed on junk foods. Yet, we have quality foods around with which we can make a delicacy”.
He also said,
“unfortunately, western diets and lifestyle is what most people prefer nowadays and that is what is gradually destroying us. Let us conserve and use living foods for our people and jettison this modern diet that consists mainly of nutritional empty, processed foods that are often laden with sugar and artery-clogging fat. Is it any wonder that the serious diseases that plague the country today can be prevented and reversed by simply eating the right food? At Living Foods Conservation & Utilization, we consult and advise our clients on what to eat and how to avoid bad food that will cause problems to our living-bodies. It is about healthy eating, longevity, diet and lifestyles”.
Prince Arinze Onebunne as a Teacher
Arinze presents seminars on grasscutter and other livestock farming to various groups and individuals across the country as well as in neighbouring countries. Over the past five years, more than 3,000 participants have attended this widely acclaimed nationwide seminars. He has over fifteen years’ experience in the industry and has set-up farms and/or consulted in over twenty states in Nigeria and two other countries.
Arinze has continued to research on modern animal production methods, conduct feasibility studies and has offered practical assistance to numerous people who are interested in learning about Animal farming in their own villages, towns, local government areas, states, region or country.
Prince Arinze’s Love for Reading
Reading to him is very important not only to entrepreneurs but to everybody, especially those that aspire for knowledge and human development, readers are leaders. His preference for books include: books on nutrition & health, history, literature, science and so on.
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His love for reading has also helped him to learn about foods and how they affect our health both positively and otherwise.
Generating income from Agriculture in Nigeria by Prince Arinze Onebunne
According to him, the main problem is that our people in Nigeria are not being trained on enterprise development skills unlike what happens in the United States and some other developed economies. Overseas, college students begin to get this kind of training at high school level, even before they get into the University. We need to establish a structure to teach our graduates enterprise development skills. I think one of our major challenges is the right education. We are not teaching our youths how to create jobs. Our system teaches them how to be a good employee but does not teach them how to create employment opportunities for themselves and others.
I would really prescribe a sandwich course that can be infused into the existing curriculum, something like the current General Studies course, which all students will take on basic enterprise development skills and effective communication skills, to be taken at the beginning of their studies in the first year and then in the final year. It should be a one-semester course to orientate students to the fact that they don’t have to wait till they graduate before they start earning income. They can actually earn income from running a little agricultural enterprise as long as it won’t affect their studies.
So in any place you find yourself, begin to look out for opportunities to meet needs for a fee. Unemployed graduates should begin to think of solutions. Only uncreative people remain unemployed. Our people should be taught how to be involved in agriculture-thereby being part of the solution and not job seekers.
Major Business Challenge of Prince Arinze Onebunne
In the beginning, it was a big challenge convincing people to go into animal farming. Those that failed in fish, poultry or piggery usually find it difficult to go back because of the cost of production. With the introduction of grasscutter farming that is very easy and cheap to do, many people are now embracing the business.
Advice For Entrepreneurs from Prince Arinze Onebunne
Investors should stop shunning agriculture for quick returns, we all should encourage agriculture and produce surplus food in Nigeria; so as to bring about the diversification of the Nigerian economy rather than expending billions of dollars annually in importation of food. Micro and medium scale agricultural enterprises would be drivers for achieving the goal of Nigeria beyond Oil.
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