The Demand for African foodstuff in Europe and America is rising due to the increasing number of Africans, particularly Nigerians who sojourn to these Countries for better life. Do you know that even veteran exporters of Nigerian commodities are yet to access the secrets that I am about to reveal to you.There are many small exporters of foodstuff in the sub-region who depend on middlemen to export foodstuff in small quantities and sell them directly to consumers or retailers running ethnic shops in the United States of America or Europe. The volume of Nigerian export of foodstuff to these countries is still on a very small scale.
Tap into the potential of foodstuff export: It is estimated that 20 million people of Nigerian descent reside outside Nigeria, with the majority living in the United Kingdom and the United States. This is a great opportunity to sell to this category of people. My research in this business sector revealed that the few exporters of African foodstuff cannot meet with the demand of Nigerians which populations are increasing everyday in US and UK.
Here are the foodstuffs that you can export to foreign Countries:
Smoked fish:The fish is treated with salt, either in the form of a strong brine or a surface coating of dry salt. This combination of reduced moisture and salt inhibits the growth of spoilage bacteria, a basic principle of all cured meats.At the international market the fish of N2, 500 can be sold for $40 about N6,000 in foreign Countries.
Gari :Gari is a fine to coarse granular flour of varying texture made from cassava tubers .You can package in 1kg or 2kg bag and penetrate the local or foreign market.
Beans Flour: Beans flour is made from beans which has been cleaned, peeled and milled to a fine flour. Used for the preparation of dishes such as moi-moi and akara. These days, there is already prepared beans flour, meaning you do not have to spend so much time soaking your beans or blending it. The time has come for you to explore the local or foreign market.
Melon seed (Egusi Ground): Egusi refers to the seeds of a highly nutritious type of watermelon found widely in Africa.You can package the egusi in 1kg or 2kg then you are ready to export to the foreign Countries.
Ogbono: The Ogbono also called ogbolo or etima seed, when ground and combined with vegetables and spices and cooked with fish and or meat, is used to make the popular ogbono soup in Nigeria.
Cassave Flour: Cassava (Manihot esculenta, crantz) is a tropical root crop and major stable food, supplying about 70% of the daily calories intake of 50 million Nigerians. Globally, cassava is consumed by an estimated half a billion people. The unit operations involved in Cassava Flour process technology include: Sorting, Weighing, Peeling, Washing, Grating, Fermentation, Dewatering, Granulating, Dehydration, Milling, Sieving and Packaging.
Bitterleaf: Bitter Leaf is derived from the leaves of a small ever-green shrub, true to its name, this leaf is bitter to taste, but surprisingly delicious in meals.
Dried Ugu leaf: This leaf is generally known as pumpkin leaf. The Ibibio’s in Nigeria call the leaf Nkong Ubong, Efiks call it Ikong Ubong Igbos named the leaf Ugu,?
Palmwine: Palm wine is a crisp, foamy, and creamy-white alcoholic beverage obtained from the sap of various palm tree species in tropical Africa and parts of Asia.Palm wine is now increasingly being prepared for commercial production and export with West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana taking the lead in this regard.
Butter production: Butter is widely used for variety of domestic and industrial purposes. They include cooking, baking frying and outright straight consumption. The plants needed for this project are simple, easy to use local machinery They include the paste mixer, corn milk, fryer, sifter and any type of mill. Packaging is in 200 grams and 500 grams light plastic container or paper wrapper.
Coconut processing: Coconut cultivation is predominantly done in the coastal regions of River, Delta, Edo, Lagos and Ondo States. Coconut produced in all parts of the Country are consumed locally. The oil extracted can be used as for cooking, as butter fat, production of skimmed milk, etc hydrogen fats are use in the production of baker’s margarine, vegetable lard etc Further uses in the industry are the making of laundry and toilet soaps, in paints production; manufacture of vanishes, in the cosmetics industry as hair oil and for the preparation of shampoo.
Producing pepper for export: Nigeria is known to be one of the major producers of pepper in the world. The implication of this is that we have the good weather that can readily support the growth and production of pepper in Nigeria. Nigeria pepper in particular is high in demand.
Tomato paste production:Tomato is regarded as a fruit in some quarters and as a vegetable in some other places, but whichever way you may see it, tomato is a highly nutritious food ingredient used in many food preparation processes in many African dishes.
Hibiscus flower: Hibiscus is popularly called Zobo in Nigeria. The best quality is dark red in color with a sour-fruity taste. Local price: The local market price of hibiscus per MT ranges from NGN140,000.00 to NGN160,00.00 to deliver it to Lagos during the season. It may be as high as NGN180,000 when the season is over.
Yoghurt : Yoghurts are usually package with screen printed tetra paks, polypropylene or thick Nylon sachet, pet plastic bottle in sizes of 100ml, 200ml, 250mls, 350mls, 500mls and lately 1 litre. The type of packaging to be use will be determined by the financial power of the investor.you can start with less than N80,000 and make 45% in investment within a short period.
Custard manufacturing: In Africa, almost every ethnic is used to making various food out of corn. In Nigeria Cities, they are used to what is called Ogi, Akamu and this is cornstarch. You can sart with as low as N40,000 when you start to pentrate the local market , with proper packging you can go international.
Ukazi leaf: Ukazi leaf, also known as Afang leaf can be eaten raw as prepared by the Igbos in the popular African Salad “Ugba”.The Afang leaf itself serves as a dietary fiber which helps in proper digestion and gives a bulk feeling, vital for a good weight control diet.
Note: If you are exporting vegetable, you will need to sundried it, then compressed it then arranged it in a “Ghana must go bag”, then it is ready to be sent. If you buy a vegetable for N100 here in Nigeria, you can sell for N500 over ther e which is 500% profit
Hot Chilli Pepper – Ground:Dried pepper or the African red hot pepper is a very hot spice, Most traditional African foods are cooked with this pepper; in fact I do not know of ANY African soup cooked in Western Nigeria for example without adding the red hot pepper!
Kolanut: Nigeria is the principal producer of kola nuts. Latest figures show an annual production of approximately 150,000 tons. While a few hundred tons are exported to the United States for use as alternate medicine, the bulk of the crop is consumed in Nigeria and surrounding countries. Packaging is based on the buyer’s requirement.
Potato: Potatoes have become an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine and are the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. The main producing state in Nigeria is plateau state where about 90% of the nation’s production is domiciled, other states are Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, Gombe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kebbi. Presently 1 kg of the processed frozen potato chips goes for N500. A well maintained potato farm would yield 10 tonnes per hectare.
Semolina: Modern milling of wheat into flour is a process that employs grooved steel rollers. The rollers are adjusted so that the space between them is slightly narrower than the width of the wheat kernels.The idea for Semolina was to take pasta and create a totally sensational taste experience.
Ginger beer: Ginger beer is a carbonated drink that is flavored primarily with ginger and sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Most ginger beer produced commercially is a manufactured soft drink. It is very easy to prepare.
Kilishi: Kilishi is a product obtained from sliced lean muscles of beef, goat meat or lamb. My research took me to the international airport in Lagos recently and i saw couples of young guys selling Killishi in a brown paper bag, a bag was sold for me at N300, they told me they cannot meet the demand of Nigerians as a couple of Travellers buys from them and travel with it to US and UK.
Soyabean: Soyabean is a legume which is produced in the middle belt of the country of which Benue State is the largest producer in Nigeria. It produces about 48% of the total natural output of 352,000 metric tonnes per annum. Soyabeans is used for production of milk, edible oil and animal feeds.
Groundnut: Groundnuts have a growing period of approximately 5 months. The major groundnut importers are the European Union (EU), Canada, and Japan. These three areas account for 78% of the world’s imports. Groundnut, unlike cashew nut is usually exported as kernel (i.e shelled groundnut) The export free on board (fob) price of groundnut varies from about USD 800-1,100/MT depending on the grade.
Okra: Trade intelligence reveals that most okra produced in Africa is exported to the UK and Netherlands which constitute the two largest markets within the EU. Wholesale price of Okra stands at $ 4,000/ metric tonnes CIF (Cost Insurance & Freight) but when the markets get bullish; it shoots up to $ 5,000 – $ 5,600 metric tonnes CIF.
Cassava: Cassava is grown in all the states of the Federation with the current production level being about 45 million metric tonnes per annum; a figure expected to double by 2020. Nigeria is the leading cassava producer in the world, producing a third more than Brazil and almost double the production capacity of Thailand and Indonesia.
Yam: Over 73.5 metric tonnes of yam worth over £30,000 were exported to the U.K. market. Research shows that only few Nigerians exporters have been able to tap into this opportunity, because of the stringent measure by the regulatory authority, i was told that you will need to have a ware house at the port where the yam will be inspected before it will get the consumers.
Honey: Raw honeys are usually produced by small farms and left in their natural state without undergoing processing Honeys are in very high demand at the international market. Honey is currently priced between US$ 8.00 AND US$10.00 per kilogram at international market.
Snail: Snail is an export commodity, which has value next to gold in overseas countries. Our climate is one of the best in snail breeding. If your start up, capital is N50, 000 you can generate the sum of one million naira in one year. There is a flourishing international trade of snails in Europe and North America.
Bitter Kola: Bitter (Garcinia) kola is in great demand in America, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, China, Japan, India and other Asian countries. It is used for food purposes apart from serving as a raw material in pharmaceutical industries for production of drugs. Currently a kg of bitter kola commands an international market price of $17, and the local price is about N200 per kg.
Ofada rice: Ofada’ is a generic name used to describe all rice produced and processed in the rice producing clusters of South-West Nigeria named after Ofada, a small rural community in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. There are about 340 000 Nigerians living in the UK and a potential demand for 120 tonnes of Ofada rice. The fast food companies in Nigeria are hungry for Ofada. The market in the US, however, seems to have an even greater potential for growth than the one in the UK. You can package it in 1kg or 2kg bag like the old Uncle Bens rice.
Catfish: Nigeria is endowed with good weather, space, water and population and therefore enjoys comparative advantage over many countries in Africa to produce catfish in abundance. You will need to remove the bone, dried before you can export it. Nigeria is currently the largest aquaculture producing country in Africa.
Shrimps:. Having a production capacity of 12, 000 .metric tons (MT) per year, The major markets for the Nigerian shrimp in Europe are Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France and the USA. All are usually packaged in 2.2-kg packets into master cartons. More that 80 per cent of the shrimp caught in Nigeria’s territorial waters is exported.
Pounded Yam Flour: Pounded yam is a staple food, which is consumed by almost every tribe in Nigeria. The indigenous process of production is very laborious. It requires physical pounding by two or more men or women, depending on the quantity, in mortars with pistols. Instant Pounded Yam Flour (IPYF) brings succour to pounded yam lovers as the drudgery of pounding is eliminated. Few investors in yamflour production cannot meet the demand.
Poultry: The term poultry is generally used to refer all the domestic birds kept egg or meat purposes. For any person or corporate bodies looking for a project that will generate income on a daily basis, poultry egg production is one of such project.
Fruit juice: The Nigerian market provides huge export market opportunities for U.S. exporters of fruit juice concentrate. Nigeria’s fruit juice market has grown 60 percent over the last five years and this growth is due to increasing incomes of Nigerian consumers, an expanding middle class, and greater health-consciousness of consumers.
Cashew: Cashew (Anacardium Occidentale L.) is a tree crop of considerable economic importance to Nigeria and other tropical countries. The major buyers of cashew nut from Nigeria are mainly India and Singapore. Smaller percentage goes to Europe. The export free on board (fob) price of raw cashew nut varies from about USD 500-600/MT.
Plantain Flour:. The preparation method consists of peeling of the fruits with the hands, then cutting the pulp into small pieces, and air drying them for few days. The dried pulp is then ground in a wooden mortar or a corn grinder. The flour produced is mixed with boiling water to prepare an elastic pastry. Packed in plastic sachets can be kept for many months without deterioration of its qualities.
Palm Oil: The primary unit of production of the palm oil industry is the farm where the oil palm tree is cultivated to produce palm fruits. The farm’s production of fruits may be processed by the farmer, using the traditional method of palm oil extraction, or sold to other processors. You can package it in bottle, then you are ready for the local and international market
What you need to start: Company registration is not important, you will need about N100,000 to N150,000 to start this business, an e-mail,a mobile phone and an account with a reputable bank here in Nigeria, You don’t need previous experience in the field but you should have a “GOOD HEAD” for organizing.You don’t need to register with the Nigeria export promotion Council (NEPC).since you will be dealing with individual.
How to source for product:Every exporter is strongly advised for their best financial interest to select foodstuffs which they intend to export based on accessibility and availability.
Tap into the Local Market: As a new entrants you have a choice of targeting the local or foreign market, you can package any of these products in 1kg or 2kg bags with the population of over 150 million Nigerians you will definitly make a lot of money this will prepare you for the international market.
How small investors can be part of this opportunity: As a small investor you can send this product through the NIPOST, or send it by air, NIPOST have a ready made cartons you can send up to 30kg which to N40,593.00. Perishable products are not allowed through the NIPOST because it takes up to five to seven working days before the products get to the UK and US respectively. But you can send perishable items by air because it takes only 8hours to get there.It is important that you send the foodstuff to an individual because if you use a company address you may need to answer a lot of questions.
Prepare a massive mail campaign:To every prospective buyer, write a letter introducing your companies, telling them that you have the named goods they want to buy that it meets their quality specification, that you will package according to their requirements and don’t fail to quote the selling price and Payment terms acceptable.
How new entrants can get buyers:You can get buyers by advertising your product on line, you can have a websites where you will display your product. Make use of social site like facebook.you can also register with some trade sites like Alibaba, ,tradekey and so on. You can advertise your product as a free member. It will also give you a previledge to chat with foodstuff buyers abroad.
How to identify genuine buyers: You will receive mails from intending new buyers but you will need to ask them some relevance questions like their Company registration details, phone numbers, and office address, ask them if they have an office or a relative here in Nigeria that you can deal with, you will also need to ask them to give you the list of their customers here in Nigeria, this will allow you to know how genuine and reputable they are in the foodstuff importation industry .However you need to agree on a particular payment pattern.
How to deal with responses: A lot of response will be coming from some Nigerians and Africans that operates African shops in foreign Countries, because some of them are looking for people like you to buy from, you may need to send free samples to some of them, while you make them chose the right packaging pattern for the product you are sending.
Opportunity for Nigerians who have friends and relatives in US and UK: You can send the foodstuff to friends and relatives in US and UK, they will help you sell the foodstuff and pay the money into your account in Nigeria.You don’t need to go through the rigorous of cross checking who is genuine or not,they know the terrain and they will help sell directly to African foodstuff importers over there.
Small Businesses in Nigeria can now have easy NAFDAC Registration-by Joining- Association of Micro-Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN): A lot of Nigeria small business who hitherto want to start producing foods, herbal and household product with small capital find it very difficult to start, they often have the problem of getting equipment and factory site and getting the NAFDAC approval. Association of Micro-Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN) has come to solve this problem by providing adequate facilities and logistics support to members,all you need to do is to join the association and make use of their free factory site which will allow you to get the NAFDAC numbers. You can packge any of these products into Bottles or Small Nylon bag of 1kg and 2kg, you can pentrate the local market and Sell to busy office executives, professionals, high-net worth individual, and supermarkets. The NAFDAC number on your product will give your food product more credibility in African foodstuff market in US and UK.
Keep yourself informed, read everything that you can find about foodstuff export business, a lot of Nigerians are currently making money, they cannot met the demand of Millions of yearning Africans in US and UK. This is a special invitation to the Nigeria multibillion naira foodstuff exportation industry.
Tunji Afuwape is a small business and SMEs finance expert, he consults for business owners and executives and organizes seminars, workshop and conferences. He has written a lot of information products that have empowered hundreds of Nigerians.He can be reached on +2348033224392.