Babatunde Mudashir is the Zaria Warehouse Manager at AFEX. Here, he shares his first-time experience working in the field, managing operations, and the privilege of working with a team to enhance farmers’ livelihoods.
Being a part of AFEX is a dream come true. I felt inspired to apply for a position here because I saw AFEX as a leading organization in the world of agriculture and commodities as a whole. AFEX offers you an avenue to interface with farmers and critical stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to address the pressing issues of food insecurity and production, and I wanted to be a part of the team.”
On my first day, I felt incredibly nervous because I had no clue what to expect. First, there was the challenge of leaving my family and friends in North Central to work full-time as a field staff. Second, there was a language gap between myself and the people I manage, amongst other things. Truth is, nothing prepares you for a role of a Warehouse Manager, working on the field daily to ensure Africa feeds itself. However, when the journey is worth it, you see the experience as an opportunity to create impact and solve underlying food challenges for the greater good.
To work as a field staff at AFEX is to understand that this experience is a learning curve. You’ll be given access to training, resources to help you figure out where to start, how to reach out to the smallholder farmers, and how to take the business to the next level. In this role, every day, I get to interact with farmers and processors; young and old, with different needs, and I am continually inspired by their ingenuity in food production despite the challenges they face.
Being a warehouse manager can be quite challenging. The tasks I handle, to ensure the commercial side of the business is efficient, are wide. But at the end of the day, it is fulfilling to be a part of this fast-paced environment. With my level of commitment and strong support from my superiors and colleagues, I am assured of a seamless workflow. And that is one of the perks I enjoy on this job.
At AFEX, there is a culture of solidarity. Everybody tends to welcome you with open hands when you need them to solve a problem. This is a flat environment that encourages openness and goal-oriented practices to help all employees forge a unique career path in the commodities ecosystem. For those getting started in their careers as field staff at AFEX, it is important to note that this is an organization that is growing bigger with each passing year. To be a part of this, you must learn to manage the pressure — the kind that urges you to carry out particular actions towards the overall company goal. You must be committed, strong, and know how to take constructive criticism very well.