The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which was signed into Law on May 18, 2000, by President Bill Clinton.. The aim of the Bill is to promote increase in trade and investment between the USA and the sub-Saharan African countries by providing eligible African countries with unrestricted liberal access to the U.S. market, The AGOA bill also “promotes economic development and reforms in sub-Saharan African, moving across a wide range of industries and granting tangible benefits to entrepreneurs, farmers and families and seeks to promote increased access and opportunities for U.S. investors and businesses in sub-Saharan African.”. Nigerian products can enter the American market relatively cheaper than their counter-parts from non-beneficiary countries and, thus, increase profit for the wise importers.”
Requirements: You will need to register you company and make sure you get NAFDAC registration. Your product should be packaged to meet the international standard to explore the foreign markets. Your product would be send to Ghana for the second test which is the AGOA’s West Africa Trade Hub, if your products pass the test, then you will be connected to buyers in US.
About the West Africa trade Hub: The Hub works with West African business operators to export internationally, acting as an honest broker between the region and global markets. They work with export-ready businesses and increase their opportunity to grow and compete in the international marketplace, and as a result boosts local and regional economies. This trade Hub is located in Ghana
To get the full list of AGOA’s 6,400 products visit:www.niger500biz.com/AGOA
Explore the local market: Package any of these products in a sealed Nylon bag, carton, bottle, tin, then get NAFDAC approval then start selling to Nigerians, before you start the processing of exploring the international market. You will be surprised to discover that that there is a lot of opportunities in the local markets, you can target busy office executives, professionals, high net worth individuals, caterers, food vendors and other food service providers. You can also supply supermarkets, shops, restaurants, canteens, eateries, etc.
Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in exploring the U.S. market as less-endowed countries have successfully penetrated the U.S. market. Here are the 30 hottest products out of the 6,400 that can be exported to the US market duty free under AGOA
Access BOI finance: Bank of Industry (BOI) will assist Nigerian entrepreneurs with funds after they have passed through the AGOA test, to be part of this opportunity you need to focus on your mission. Explain the reason behind your business, how it is different from the competition and why it will succeed. Their office is at 23 Bank of industry building at Marina in Lagos.
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. UK Department for International Development programme, has revealed that a massive potential exists for the export of Ofada rice to Europe and the USA. 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
Groundnut: Groundnuts are a small erect or trailing herbaceous legume, about 15 to 60 cm high. The fruit is a pod with one to five seeds that develops underground within a needle-like structure called a peg. The seeds are rich in oil (38-50%), protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins. Groundnuts have also considerable medicinal value. With proper packaging you can explore the international market
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. , you can also explore the local market
Cassava flakes (Gari): Gari is a popular West African granular, starchy food traditionally made from fermented, gelatinized fresh cassava tubers. There are different types of Gari, they are, Ijebu Gari, Red Gari, White Gari and Ghana Gari. It can be packaged into 1Kg or 2kg bag. You can package this Gari in Ikg or 2kg and start to explore the local and foreign markets
Ginger: Ginger is the one of the non –oil export market next to oil and Nigeria has remained one of the largest exporters of ginger in the world. Found in almost all the local markets across the country, the plant, commonly used as spice, is also being consumed for healing and relief effect.There is a lot of buyers in US, UK, Japan, and China
Gemstone: A gemstone or gem (also called a precious or semi-precious stone) is a piece of attractive mineral, which—when cut and polished—is used to make jewelry or other adornments. The precious stones are diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire, with all other gemstones being semi-precious. On a small scale, you can start with N15,000 to N20,000
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 The seed is ground dried and when used as a soup thickener, produces a thick slippery gelatinous mixture, with a “very rich very earthly” unique flavor also rich in protein. in Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
You can package ogbono seed in whole or grounded in a 1kg or 2kg bag
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 packaged it in bottle, then you are ready for the international market
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
African Fabrics and Textiles: The U.S. market is valued at over $12 trillion, of which apparel represents over $70 billion. “In the textile and apparel category, Nigeria was the first country to be granted the Category 9 certification by the U.S. which allows us to export our African prints and other folklore and hand loomed fabrics to the U.S. This means that native Made in Nigeria wares like adire, ankara, buba, kaftan, agbada and the likes can enter duty free to the U.S. market.”. Human Capital Development Center/AGOA Training School was set up by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to train Nigerians in the process of commercial garment production. Nigeria who are interested in T-shirt designs are now trained free of charge.
Beads and accessories: A bead is a small, decorative object that is pierced for threading or stringing. Beads range in size from under a millimeter to over a centimeter in diameter. The largest variety and quantity of beads made and traded can be found in Africa. The equipment to start up the business include, cutter, strings and hooks of various colours and types among others Chinese beads is not acceptable in the US markets because it contains leads, even it gets to the US they will reject it, so if you are buying you beads, make sure you don’t buy China beads
Beans flour: Beans flour is made from beans, which has been cleaned, peeled and milled to fine flour. Used for the preparation of dishes such as moi-moi and akara. Moimoi is a rich steamed beans cake eaten all over Nigeria and beyond. It is often served with ogi or custard, can be eaten with jolloff rice or on its own. It is truly a delicious combination with most meals. Rich in protein, it is the perfect weight loosing meal with good filling effect.
Sesame seed: Sesame, also locally known as “Beniseed”, is highly appreciated today in the country and large quantity of it is now being produced not just for consumption but for export purposes. The seeds need to be harvested as dry as possible and stored at 6 percent moisture or less. You can package in 1 kg or 2 kg bag
Chilli Pepper: Nigeria is known to be one of the major producers of pepper in the world. The shipping out of processed pepper can also be on either small or large scale through Post office, DHL or Sea Port according to the capital at hand to UK, US, Germany, Greece etc. A bag of 10kg is sold for N5,000, 40kg bag is sold for N15,000 depending on the type of pepper and source of buying. While a kilo is sold for 23 US Dollar (processed) on the export market
Snails: There is a flourishing international trade of snails in Europe and North America. In France the annual requirement is about 5 million kg, over 60% of which is imported. The estimated annual consumption in Italy is 306 million snails. You may need to smoke it, spiced it before you can export it. You can start breeding this snail from your backyard
Honey: Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains other sugars as well trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Honey is “manufactured” in one of the world’s most efficient factories, the beehive. Honey is currently priced between US$ 10.00 AND US$12.00 per kilogram at international market. At the Nigerian market genuine pure natural honey cost between N1000-N1, 500 litre. If you can package in bottles, you are export ready for the international market.
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
Leather: The raw materials for leather and its products are mainly from livestock, and Nigeria is endowed with the third largest livestock population in Africa. You can start producing footwear and hand bag for the international markets, you may not necessarily be the designer, you can commission someone else to design for you while you do the exportation. Presently the world footwear and leather products sector is moving from high-cost industrialized countries to developing countries (Nigeria inclusive).
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.
Shea butter: Shea butter or Shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree by crushing and boiling. Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and an emollient. Shea butter is also edible. It is used as cooking oil in West Africa, as well as sometimes being used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter
Cashew: The majority of export quality nuts come from the Western and Eastern parts of the country. • Packaging Nigerian cashews are packed in 80kg jute bags, or in polypropylene bags.. Processed nuts are exported in metal tins or cartons. The tins are infused with carbon dioxide and vacuum sealed, to safeguard against contamination and deterioration during shipment. By far, the U.S is the largest buyer of cashew kernels, followed by The Netherlands.
Pounded yam flour: Pounded yam is a staple food, which is consumed by almost every tribe in Nigeria; Instant Pounded Yam Flour (IPYF) brings succour to pounded yam lovers as the drudgery of pounding is eliminated. The production process consists of simple operations, which have been mechanized The machinery and equipment needed to process yam flour are Yam peeler, Milling machine, Boiler, Scale, Dryer, sealing machine, Packing machine. All the above machines and process technology are source able locally. Some Nigerians local producers like Oluiyan and Poundo yam already penetrated the local and international markets and cannot meet the demand that is why this sector is still open to would be investors, you can package it in 1kg or 2kg bag
Fruit Juice: 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. The federal government on the 29th January 2003 announced the total ban of importation of fruit Juice (either in bottled or packaged form). However investors can import such in big drums or containers as raw materials in their industries, for repacking or rebottling in Nigeria.
Cocoa beans: Cocoa beans are the seeds found in cocoa pods, which grow on trees, the beans are trodden and shuffled about (often using bare human feet) and sometimes, during this process, red clay mixed with water is sprinkled over the beans to obtain a finer color, polish, and protection against molds during shipment to factories in the United States, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and other countries. Drying in the sun is preferable to drying by artificial means, as no extraneous flavors such as smoke or oil are introduced which might otherwise taint the flavor. They are package to buyer’s specification
Remember this AGOA programmme was created to help the developing Countries, if you can package your product to meet the international standard you are not only set for the American markets but you can also export to other Countries
Now is the time to take the action, all you need to contact the farmers who are producers of some of these products, I know some large scale farmers that are looking for people who will come to their farm and buy from them in bulk, all you need to do is to contact these farmers, buy from them, with the right packaging you are set for the local and international market