SAP 014 - Haruna Hassan Tukur; inspiring young Africans and creating jobs through agriculture

Haruna Hassan Tukur on the #socialAfricanshow

Haruna Tukur is the CEO of Hafaz Integrated Farms LTD. An Agricultural company based in Kebbi state, Northen Nigeria.

They cover a total of 578 hectares of land and specialise in growing soya beans, rice, and maize amongst other products.

Under Haruna’s leadership, the company has won numerous awards including an award for empowering the Nigerian Youth.

Personal life

"I’m the last of four children. I had a very fun childhood, very caring and very supportive parents. I’ve lived in Nigeria my whole life, till I was 16 years old, and, that was when I moved to the UAE to continue my education. Moving to the UAE was when I started my entrepreneurial journey. I started exporting textiles to Nigeria."

"I just had an internship for my last semester at the University. I knew that the 9-5 wasn’t for me. I saw agriculture as a platform for me to have a positive impact in the community."

Area of expertise

"For now, agriculture is the one thing that I have given my 100%."

Lowest of the low

"This happened last year. We were doing a total area of about 23 hectares. During the purchase of the inventory, there were things we needed to get such as herbicides.

There are two types of herbicides; the pre-emergent, which you use before planting and the post-emergent, which you use after planting. 

"I decided to ignore the pre-emergent because I thought if we are going to plough the land, we could actually get rid of the weeds, and, just plant.

So, that was exactly what we did, even though my manager told me it was not going to work. We did the whole thing, we came back to the farm a week later and the weeds were three times longer than the actual plants.

It was the most horrific scene I have ever experienced in my entire years of being in agriculture."

Lesson learnt from lowest this low point

"I learnt to listen to my team because that’s what I hired them for and they are the ones with experience. I’m learning on the job.

I learnt to hand over a certain amount of power to them so that they have a sense of ownership and that motivates them, I guess."

Lightbulb moment

"It was not a moment, it was three moments. The first being when I came back to Nigeria in 2015, there was a new government and they were all about diversifying the economy to agriculture. Now, I had the government behind me, I got to justify what I was doing."

"The second one being; we have contract staff who come in during the season and whenever we’re done working and they get paid, I see that look in their eyes, like; this is what they have actually worked for. That feeling alone, I know, I’m making an of impact on the lives of other people."

"The third one is; people, my peers, people who are younger than me and people that I don’t know, reach out to me and they’ll be like ‘you serve as an inspiration, you inspire us’. Because you being so young and going into the agricultural sector is not something you see in Nigeria on a normal day."

What's got you buzzing right now?

"We are about to start production of brown rice. Brown rice is good for people with diabetes, it stabilizes their blood sugar. It has a lot of fibre in it so it’s good for people who want to lose a lot of weight as well.

I am so excited to produce something that is so essential, mainly because of the staggering amount of people living with diabetes in Nigeria."

Lion’s Den

  • What is the best African saying you've ever heard?

By crawling, a child learns to stand

"I find this to be true because in Hafaz we literally started from very humble beginnings."

  • What was holding you back from building your brand?

"Actually, I am a very shy person. I always think about what people will think of me, what will people say and how will people look at me. Up till now, whenever I try to launch something I still have the anxiety."

  • Which is your social media platform of choice and why?

"Instagram, because that’s where a lot of people see my stories and that’s where I have been able to build friendships that I treasure. A lot of opportunities have come from Instagram."

  • Share one daily routine that contributes to your success.

"Being a Muslim, I wake up early in the morning, depending on the season. For now, I wake up at 5:30 am and pray. When I’m done with the prayer, I like to sit down and have a conversation with God. I tell him the things I’m about to do for today and for him to guide me through those things and to guide me through my dreams and to also be grateful for everything that I have."

"Then, I go to the gym. I can't afford to get sick. When you're the boss and you're calling the shots you can't afford to be down."

  • Recommend a book for the tribe to check out

School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.

"This book will help you with your financial, business, fitness, wellness, relationships and friendships."

  • If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

"I would spend a good amount of that day trying to make peace with God, trying to ask for forgiveness. After that, I would love to be surrounded by family and friends and I would love to actually share all my stuff before I go."

Words of wisdom

"Start with humble beginnings, try to be creative, when you’re creative, you build the foundations of your business and when you know your business well, it becomes unshakable."

"You should also know that this journey you have embarked upon, you’re going to be depressed, frustrated, most times broke but it will be all worth it when you start seeing the results."

"You should also celebrate the small wins along the way cause it’s the journey that counts not the destination."

Connect with Haruna