Announcing the 14-day coronavirus lockdown extension on Thursday, 9 April 2020 the President of South Africa said, “…we are part of a great global effort that is bringing humanity together in ways that many never thought possible. For billions across the world, and for us here in South Africa the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. We can no longer work in the same way we did before.”
Yes. We definitely cannot work as we did before.
Everyone who works on a computer is doing it remotely from home. Every industry that relies on repeatable actions that can be done by a machine, will move to automation. Where humans are needed to get a job done, protective equipment and extreme sanitation will become the new normal. Hygiene in agribusiness will remain especially important. Life is changing.
Entrepreneurs thrive in change. That is why we need to talk about life-changing events.
When you get your first job.
When you leave your parents’ house.
When you get married.
When your first child is born.
These are life-changing events. Because one massive change is happening in your life, you are also able to change other things in your life with ease. The momentum of a life-changing event can help you to finally start exercising daily or quit smoking successfully even if you have never been able to do it before.
In marketing it is important, because during life-changing events people are more willing to change to new brands, to try new products, and to alter the way they live. If you market to people in these key times, they are much more likely to buy your product. And if you build their trust in your brand when they are going through such big changes, your brand can become something they choose automatically for the rest of their lives.
A Global Life-changing Event
The entire world is going through something that individuals only experience a few times in their lives. We are going through a very significant global, life-changing event.
We have had global pandemics before. But this time is different, because we are all connected with technology. The trauma of loss, the immediacy of need, the stresses and fears are shared by everyone. Most of the world has been told to change their routines and stay at home.
It is something that has never happened before. A single life-changing event has connected everyone and is forcing a change of our societies and our economies.
It is the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen
Right now, during this life-changing event, we can choose the future.
We can rewrite how things are done to create decentralised sustainable food security for everyone. We can engineer and adopt new agritech for better food traceability. We can empower networks of small-holder agripreneurs to farm smarter and break the chain of poverty.
We can change to green energy and biodegradable packaging. We can make fundamental shifts to protect the oceans and promote biodiversity on land. We can use cutting-edge science and sustainable agriculture techniques to make the planet healthier instead of poisoning our home.
But first we must feed our people
Agriculture, processing agricultural crops and getting food to the people are essential.
In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta said, “Movement of food and cargo will continue as normal throughout the containment period by road, rail or air.”
Angola is having serious trouble enforcing their lockdown. People are ignoring the government because “many view earning money, finding food and fetching water as legitimate reasons to leave home.”
In Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced “distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.” This is in an attempt to keep the most vulnerable impoverished families as safe as possible from the virus.
In Zambia, the Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya said they have to find a different way, because a lockdown will not work when many Zambians need to go out almost every day to work and buy mealie meal.
In Nigeria, the food industry is exempt from many restrictions, but other problems with corruption in the transport supply lines is forcing the food system to fall apart.
An article by Zodidi Dano on IOL says, “Rwanda has formulated a social protective plan for the delivery of free food to at least 20 000 households in the capital Kigali.”
As an entrepreneur, can you see the opportunity? All over Africa food and clean water are the pivot points that will determine if the coronavirus is successfully stopped. Food production, processing, transport and sale are protected industries. That is why agripreneurs are needed to get through the initial lockdowns, and to rebuild the economies of their countries after the pandemic is over.
Agripreneurs are essential for success, now and into the future
In this time of great change, entrepreneurs in the agrifood industry have an incredible opportunity to find new solutions.
Find ways to produce and process food that will help to feed the people in your community. Build safe, hygienic food transport and delivery systems that connect communities who can trade nutrition online.
We turn to entrepreneurs at times like these because we need them to take charge. People with an entrepreneurial mindset can deal better with change. They see potential in difficult situations. Entrepreneurs learn new things fast. They understand that learning never stops because everything changes continually. They stay optimistic and positive because they know that perception is the difference between seeing the solution and missing it. Most of all, entrepreneurs are proactive.
They plan. They learn. They do.
Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Can you find an opportunity at this incredibly difficult time in human history?
The GoGettaz community and the industry-leading founders of Generation Africa want to support you. Join our community by clicking this link.
The GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition 2020 is launching soon, and we want to hear from you.