Rags to Riches: The Incredible Rise of Olayemi Michael Opemipo in Agribusiness

Frontier Agribusiness, a leader in Climate Smart Agriculture, is proud to share the remarkable journey of its Managing Director, Olayemi Michael Opemipo (PMP®) who has navigated a path from Child street hawking to becoming an influential figure in Agribusiness. His story is a testament to God’s grace, dedication, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in tackling global issues such as hunger and climate change.

He grew up hawking ice water and soft drinks in the streets after school hours to supplement family income, during which he overcame emotional trauma and physical dangers associated with street hawking.

Undeterred, he didn’t allow his background to put his back on the ground by getting admitted to the University of Ilorin in 2010, Olayemi Michael Opemipo balanced academic studies, entrepreneurship, and student unionism. Graduating in 2015 as the Best Graduating Student in the Department of Crop Protection, he garnered practical agricultural experience through volunteer work at various farms and animal feed factories. This hands-on learning during his undergraduate holidays laid a solid foundation for his future endeavors.

His career trajectory includes roles as Farm Manager, Training Manager, and Greenhouse Technician/Agronomist before founding Frontier Agribusiness. This enterprise focuses on Climate Smart Agriculture, aiming to help farmers build resilience, adapt to climate change, and boost productivity. His firsthand experience with the impacts of climate change on smallholder farmers inspired him to design and install low-cost Climate Smart Greenhouse farms that enhance food production and profitability in the face of Climate change. This low-cost Climate Smart Greenhouse farms comes with an end-to-end free agronomic consultancy to support and guide farmers to sustainability.

Leveraging his expertise in various Project management and agribusiness value chains such as Greenhouse farm installation, soilless farming, and catfish production, Olayemi Michael Opemipo leads Frontier Agribusiness with a commitment to innovation and mentorship. His role encompasses mentoring, training, project management, and serving as the brand ambassador, driving the company toward global recognition.

His undergraduate academic background, having taken 92 courses across multiple disciplines, has imbued him with a versatile and agile mindset. The principles of Crop protection, Good Agronomic Practices and Integrated Pest Management learned during his studies are now applied to achieve profitable yields and good agronomic practices in his professional work.

Recognized for his academic excellence and contributions, Olayemi Michael Opemipo has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the Unilorin Multipurpose Cooperative Society Award for academic excellence in 2013 and 2015, and being named one of the Top 100 Grassroots Young Entrepreneurs powering Nigeria’s economy through Agriculture by the African Young Leaders Empowerment Initiative. He has also established the Michael Olayemi Prize Award for Best Graduating Students in Agricultural Science (MOPA) for Secondary School Students, encouraging more students to pursue agriculture as a career.

He has also trained over a thousand Fulani herdsmen on hydroponics fodder production which has significantly reduced farmers-herders clashes in the training locations by providing sustainable non-seasonal fodder to rural Fulani herdsmen. Additionally, he has empowered rural farmers to produce biogas from animal dung thereby promoting sustainable green energy that mitigate climate change by reducing dependence on firewood for cooking.

Leadership roles, such as his presidency of the National Association of Agricultural Students (NAAS, Unilorin Chapter) in 2013, have further shaped his professional journey. During his tenure, he led advocacy efforts resulting in the construction of the AGLT lecture theatre and the opening of an ultra-modern computer library, honing his skills in negotiation, effective communication, stakeholder management, empathy, and time management.

Balancing serving, learning, and inspiring others is a continuous effort for Olayemi Michael Opemipo driven by effective time management and prioritization. Looking ahead, he aspires to obtain a PhD focused on Climate Smart Agribusiness by 2030 and to become a highly sought-after development professional making global impact to tackle climate change and hunger.

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