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Patricia Gant

Founder, Patom Farming Enterpris

Liberia

What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

Patricia Gant is a determined young woman who has successfully built her own agribusiness, and in the process she has become a highly visible, effective role model for other young people in the agricultural sector.  She has a passion for agriculture which she has pursued by setting up her own company, Patom Farming Enterprise, in Liberia.  Over time, in an effort to avoid product spoilage and reduce the risk of farm price collapses, she has expanded the range of her business activities from farm production to processing.  This expansion has also served to add additional value to raw agricultural materials produced on Liberian farms.  

Patricia serves as an active role model and mentor for other small farmers, and she trains her own staff to build their capacities on improved methods both at the production and processing levels.   She has volunteered her time to provide training for rural women in improved farming methods under the African Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWEP) in Liberia.  A self-made entrepreneur and businesswoman, she serves as a highly effective role model encouraging and empowering Liberian women to go into agriculture.

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • After college studies, I began thinking about the very serious food security problems in the country.  Why were there so many malnourished children yet lots of usable land? 
  • I realized that nobody was doing agriculture as a business.  Yet the business opportunities there looked enormous.  So I started farm part-time in 2007).  Then in 2010 I quit my day job at the Liberia Maritime Authority to become a full-time farmer and agribusiness entrepreneur.   

 How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • Expand beyond classroom teaching from books.  Agricultural education needs to start early and involve outside motivational speakers to encourage students and to prove to them that “They can do it” and that agribusiness offers many promising, well-paying careers. 
  • Primary schools should offer nutrition education.  They should explain why fruit is more nutritious than bread, how plants produce vitamins and carbohydrates from the air and soil and make them available to people.
  • Secondary school and university should include outside speakers providing agribusiness life stories from successful agribusiness entrepreneurs.  

 Career highlights

  • Founder and CEO, Patom Farming Enterprise, 2010 to present.
  • Goldman Sachs. “10,000 Women” international entrepreneurship award recipient.
  • Africa-LEAD, Women in Farming award winner, 2011.
  • Liberia Maritime Academy, IT trainer, 1998 -2010.

Educational background

  • Primary school:          Baptist Mission School.
  • Secondary school:      Lott Carey Baptist Mission School, Brewerville, Liberia.
  • Technical school:      
    • West Africa Institute of Computer Technology, Certificate in Information Technology.
  • University:                 

    • BA, Public Administration and Sociology, African Methodist Episcopal University, Monrovia, 2000 – 2004.