Agriculture is the answer to wealth creation in Nigeria!
Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) success in the agrobusiness is an inspiration to the young agroprenures in Nigeria
‘We are rebranding the image of agriculture and agribusiness
making it more attractive to the younger technologically advanced generation which currently make up a large percentage of the unemployed.’- WECA Chairman
Agriculture is one of the crucial sectors in the Nigerian economy- in-fact reports claim the cashew nut business alone is worth 1 trillion Naira. Surprisingly though, over the past years the agriculture sector has been overlooked as a source to create wealth. It is said that for a country to improve its economy it needs to look inwards and that’s what bodies like WECA has done- looking inwards to unlock the potentials in agriculture to expand internally generated revenues and improve state of living through job creations.
WECA’s varieties of agro-product lines on cokodeal marketplace include Sunshine Honey, Dress chicken, Live catfish, and more. With unemployment on the high in Nigeria, WECA’s programs have over the years attracted the more technologically advanced younger generations into the agro-business.
WECA successfully created employment for hundreds of Nigeria graduates and currently host large operating farmlands in Nigeria. From which tonnes of maize are generated, tonnes of cassava, Dry fish in large quanity, African fabrics; Aso Oke, Napkins, Chicken; both chicks and grown, Pure Natural Honey and other fresh Farm produce.
To source for fresh farm products in wholesale, contact WECA directly or call T: 08034483712, 07062097858 directly.
WECA is proudly African!
Visit WECA ‘s online store on cokodeal marketplace and see all the range of fresh produce to place your orders.
“Oil and gas has served Nigeria well. We did not manage the resources well. We can’t blame oil and gas. Now the pressure is on agriculture. How we are going to make it work to ensure yield and harvest is a burden all of us will carry together “We are going to face very serious challenges. We have to earn foreign exchange to replace oil. The demand out there is very high if we can produce the right quantity and quality.
“We have to intensify research, marketing of food. We have to deal with reducing the import burden of food of almost $32bn a year. I don’t know how somebody can explain importing bananas to the country or Irish potatoes from South Africa or vegetables from South Africa into our shores” Mr. Audu Ogbeh, Minister for agriculture.
On our previous post 7 hot agro-business you can invest, we were able to show you a comprehensive list of agro-businesses you can invest in and make fortune. The statistics are there to prove these businesses are lucrative and can make any business person rich given the right investment and execution. On this post we look at some points why you need to invest in agro-business in Nigeria.
Lets get right to it:
#1. Government mean business and there are results already
We’ve always known the Nigerian Government to mean good. However, sadly they set up plans and promises and don’t get to complete them. Nigerians have been hurt by these and carry the scars with them. The implication is they get judgmental and critical about whatever projects Government embarked on. The people’s disbelief in the government is understandable, but maybe its time to start looking at the results now as things are changing especially in the agriculture sector. The previous Nigerian government set up the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2011 (ATA), wooing investors in the Agricultural sector. The focus of this was to reduce Nigeria’s expenditure on food imports (totaling over $11 billion) and instead raise agricultural productivity and value-addition. This decision was borne out of the decision to refocus the sector on private sector engagement and end decades of government domination. In the space of three years, Nigeria expects to become a net exporter of fertilizers with about $5 billion of new investments in fertilizer manufacturing are ongoing by Dangote, Indorama and Notore amongst others. Nigeria will be on global exhibition. Another result is the new rice self sufficiency policy which will directly save Nigeria $2.5 billion annually. The government has also embarked on free distribution of high yielding rice varieties, provision of fertilizers and mechanized services, supported by small scale irrigation, rice production has been on the increase, reports claiming the number of integrated modern rice mills in the country rose from 5 to 15 within two years, all processing the local paddy into high quality finished rice.
Early investors in this sector would reap higher reward on the long run as evidenced by the 40% ROI in the rice mill business.
#2. Nigeria has no choice but to give attention to other sources of wealth to sustain economy
One can relate Nigeria’s economy situation to one who his ‘back is against the wall’ and needs to act or be consumed. Although it must be said that The whole world have gone through rough patch this year, its not only being Nigeria. non the less, it is good to know Nigeria is rising to the occasion. Nigeria’s dependence on oil over the years have seen it suffer other sectors of the economy but with oil price dwindling, she has no choice but look inward and share this concentration on other aspects of the economy. Boosting Nigeria’s economy through Agriculture is one way out of this mess and thankfully, results are already showing for themselves. For Nigeria to have a sustainable economy, it needs to diversify its economy. It lays in the shoulder of every business person(however small) to establish themselves in line of this revolution and make good money.
#3. Agricultural produce export activities would start improving
If the statement of the Minister for Agriculture in Nigeria tells you anything it would be there’s the urgent need to start producing locally so as not to implode in the economy in the nearest future and alas! there’s so much demand for what we have, lets start producing “…The demand out there is very high if we can produce the right quantity and quality.” The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), gives a nod to this, noting that Nigeria will generate a turnover of about N1 trillion in the next 10 years given the right support.
#4. Government policy becoming favorable for indigenous businesses
The present government have stressed the importance of looking within and have also carried on with legacy of previous government in agricultural sector. In the coming years, Nigeria would be a major exporter of rice eradicating its sole dependence of imported rice. This step further empowers local business people to produce more knowing they would get patronage for their produce.
#5. Nigeria is blessed with necessary resources for agriculture
We have necessary resources to succeed in the agricultural sector. Over 84 million hectares of arable land,favorable weather, man power, with over half of the population in Nigeria within the age of 0-35years. The young population are learned and agile and can produce more compared to the older generation. Of course with there’s the wrong notion of the young people not fancying agriculture, the compensation and reward would more than enough to convince them to go into agriculture. Fear has been getting customers for produce, With web platforms like cokodeal.com via which locally produce goods are promoted to new and larger markets, this fear has been long gone. Just by creating an online store, business people and agro-preneurs can promote their produce to thousands of customers, far beyond their reach at a very negligible cost compared to traditional medium of promoting business.
#6. There is ready market for products
Nigeria is one of the most enticing markets for business people. Consumer products thrive in the Nigerian markets, that’s why countries like China would do anything to remain in our markets. With government becoming serious about their plans and execution, perhaps its time to plunge in. We eat food everyday, drink water, need shelter and clothing. Most of these things can be produced in the Nigeria and there are customers ready to buy. platforms like cokodeal online marketplace makes it even easier to get customers from new larger and new markets- Africa and the global world. A real business opportunity lies in the satisfying the increasing demand of Nigerian products from countries in Europe, and neighbouring African countries.
#7. There is technology to promote what you produce
It is sad how unrewarding Agro business has been to the small-scale farm-holders. Perhaps here lies the reason why most young men would prefer to stick their neck for the ‘white collar’ jobs which are fast becoming a mirage in a world where jobs are as scarce as gold. If people identify non-profitability as the reason for not venturing into agro business then they should rethink now that there are enough technological solutions on ground to help foster profitability and growth. When you look at what cokodeal has done for local manufacturers, you can see how technology can drive profitability for the agro business. By Providing online marketplace to promote locally manufactured goods to emerging new markets. Business people can promote their agro products through the platform and reach thousands of people across the world. The rising demand for Nigerian products outside the shores of the country are mostly driven by the Nigerians and Africans living in those places. These people would find it easier with cokodeal to source local producers in Nigeria and place orders.
Huge investment opportunities lay fallow in the Nigerian agricultural sector. This is so because agriculture remains the largest sector of the economy, It generates employment for about 70% of the Nigerian population and contributes 40% to the GDP with crops accounting for 80%, livestock 13%, forestry 3%, fishery 4%.
As the government working hard to switch direction towards the non-oil sect, agriculture is one sector which is really gaining grounds with its past glory, it has been the center of the country’s economy growth before and still possess the capacity to scale and generate enough wealth for the country. Smart business people in Nigeria are already keying into this switch and investing in the agro-related business and here’s a list of a few of them you can go into:
Local rice production and distribution
Rice investors in Nigeria stand to gain ROI of up to 42%. According to report, the national paddy rice production has said to have increased by an additional seven million metric tonnes while net incomes of farmers have risen by $2.5bn between 2012 and 2014 – little wonder companies like Dangote investing $1 billion for large scale production.Reports say Nigeria is looking to be a net exporter of rice.
While the small scale business man may not have the financial power to go into massive production of rice, opportunity abounds in the wholesale and retail selling of locally produced rice in Nigeria, within and outside Africa. With the Government looking to flood out foreign competitors, Nigeria is looking to be a net exporter of rice.
Cassava is used for producing flour in Nigeria and can be used as partial substitute for imported wheat flour in bread and confectioneries, starch, sweeteners, chips and ethanol. Reports show that thirty bakeries including international supermarkets like Shoprite and park n shop regularly sell cassava-wheat flour bread.
Natural rubber performs main function in our national economy; these are provision of raw materials to agro-based industries, it provides foreign exchange earnings and places Nigeria in the world map as a net exporter of rubber, and it provides employment to Nigerian farmers
according to the international rubber study group, the global demand for natural rubber may reach 12.4 million tons by 2015 and 14.2 million tons by 2020, while the production of natural rubber can reach only 13.6million tons/year in 2020. The gap in supply is an opportunity for investors to go into the production and or exports of the commodity.
Export of cattle horns from Nigeria
Horns are gotten from slaughtered cattle. with over 180million people in Nigeria, the demand for protein gotten from cattle meat is huge, this implies high number of cattle slaughtered daily to meet demands and in turn business opportunity to amass enough cattle horns for export purposes. Cattle horns are used in the preparation of medicines, button, spoon and fork, jewelries, belt buckle etc Reports claim an estimated ROI between10%-20%
Cocoa production and exports
Reports say cocoa production grew from 250,000 MT in 2011 to 370,000 MT by 2013, and cocoa exports earned over $900. The revolution of the cocoa industry has seen huge investments by large companies with $20 million invested to procure cocoa from over 20,000 certified cocoa farmers.
This presents a huge opportunity to small scale farmers and business people whole look to start agro business to look into. Business people can source local farmers in the rural areas, display these products on a platform like cokodeal marketplace where products like these can be sourced and then make huge sales.
All the best as you choose your agro based business and invest wisely.
Cokodeal.com Africa’s Alibaba aims to absorb 10,000 unemployed Nigerian youths
In this interview with BusinessDay’s PATRICK ATUANYA, MIKE DOLA, Founder and Executive Director, cokodeal.com, sheds light on the technology firm’s innovative disruption to the Nigerian e-commerce space. He also articulates the company’s value proposition for creating market linkage without the need for a middleman and boosting made in Nigeria goods especially for exports. Excerpts…
Tell us about your company and the value proposition it brings to the market
Cokodeal.com is an e-commerce firm for locally produced goods, manufactured goods, textile, agricultural products and crafts in Africa. It was created from a desire for a continent that will not be at the mercy of foreign assistance but a convergence point for global trade. Nigeria as an entry point into Africa has shown it has more than enough to sell to the world. In our market exploration we did understand that there were thousands of local manufacturers unknown to Nigerians, we found out there were popular brand in South East Nigeria but hardly found in the west, hence we saw a need for us to connect South-East Nigeria with the South-West, with its vast production of locally made commodities like shoes, bags, plastics, furniture frames and more; Northern Nigeria with the South-East with its huge volume of leather works and hides; and the South-West with the East, with its farm produce, cocoa, and raw foods. Hence, for cokodeal.com to create a market linkage to other African markets to improve intra-Africa trade and finally to global markets to boost Nigeria exports. It is only through digital ubiquity that cokodeal.com can create this kind of complex connection quickly and effectively.
Our value proposition is to create a market linkage without the need for a middleman or huge advertisement cost for the hardworking woman in the Far East to tell the world what she produces and to get buyers from a global pool for her locally made shoes in Nigeria for free. For her to be able to sell at wholesale not once, but many times over to the buyers’ cokodeal platform links her with. This applies to local manufacturers, indigenous farmers, and mineral miners and craft creators.
Also, we promote our own creation to Nigerians, “Made in Nigeria” goods for us to patronize at all levels from individuals to government. Our promotion showcases locally made goods in Nigeria to Nigerians and the world at large. As reports says, the number of small-scale shoe industries for footwear made in Aba is about 10,000 and they record an average of 1 million exports daily according to the president of Abia think tank Association, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa. With sites like cokodeal.com platforms to expose and promote the capacity of the manufacturers, demand can soar higher and exports can improve exponentially.
What model would you say your business best exemplifies, is it Ebay, Amazon, Google or Ali-Baba?
Alibaba.com. Yes cokodeal.com positions as an Alibaba for locally made goods in Africa to sell to a global market. As we all know, Alibaba was created to connect China manufacturers to the world and the result was staggering, with over 16million Chinese small scale businesses, trading in over 240 countries, this is the simple reason why made-in-China goods have penetrated all nooks and crannies of a major part of the world. A similar solution is what cokodeal.com is doing in Nigeria and Africa at large. In a span of a year cokodeal.com has received welcoming testimonials from successful traders on the platform as we aim to grow across Africa.
What has the uptake been like from businesses?
Initially we needed to educate most businesses how the business model works, that it is not home delivery and pay-at-your-doorstep, nor old traditional methods, instead it is a medium to get interested buyers for your businesses, that you can sell at wholesale to, which is facilitated between seller and interested buyer. After our strategic marketing team went out to speak with business owners, we were made to understand their joy comes from a demand driven business, meaning they have more buyers than they can supply which gives them more energy and enthusiasm to produce more and increase production. In view of this our ultimate goal is to find buyers for our clients for them to sell more over many times.
With our improved search optimized site more businesses have begun to get more calls from as far zone as Europe, Cameroon and other parts of Africa to place large orders for their goods like Ginger, cocoa and shoes.
Many businesses still do not understand how the technology works because of an old man that heads it, doesn’t see reason why he needs to change what he has been doing for over 20 years of trade. Moreover, we know the best people to explain are the proprietors of successful businesses on our platform, using word of mouth. Therefore we do more of face-to-face marketing to educate users than online campaigns, because if we can create success for one happy client, it is more successful for us than having huge volumes of unsatisfied clients as we aim to be in business for the next 103 years.
How do you manage your website against down time and hosting issues as well as IT security for customers?
We have a robust software development team with over 11 years’ experience in the United Kingdom, they manage all information related to the site to ensure a global parallel standard for an e-commerce marketplace of such size. Cokodeal.com platform is hosted on a private server with 99.99% uptime, with a standard secure socket layer technology acknowledged as industry standards for security and encryption to protect our customers. We also actively monitor all activities, for traders and deals on the site to protect our customers.
Tell us about your relationship and partnership with manufacturers association, government agencies and the bank of industry (BOI)?
We have begun collaboration with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industries and Nigeria Exports and Import Bank. Their involvement will fast-track our joint success as we will help their members become more successful in business, also giving us the local knowledge support to help us reach their members through the umbrella body as it is difficult finding businesses across all corners in Nigeria. For BOI we are yet to have a form of partnership with them, however we seek a collaborative work with BOI to enable us reach deep markets and support structures in all form it may come.
From your finance projections, Cokodeal.com should break even at the end of its first year of full operation, and stay liquid with 120% increase yearly, how do you intend to achieve this? Thank you. Our business model structure is quite lean in its operation, due to the knowledge that the robust e-commerce platform handles most of our operation thereby creating lower overhead costs for us, like big warehouses, big logistics cost and a lot more. Having this information helps a finance planner to understand our major asset is in our platform and the database pool.
Our basic revenue model is in the seller’s subscription and advertisement on the platform and series of other build up revenues like agents, franchise and export brokerage. For us to achieve projected financial plans, our revenue structure of monthly subscription and advertisements both from our clients and external organisation will leave us with an above average return that will yield 120% yearly increase after the first year.
How do you intend to handle logistics between buyer and seller or is that going to be outsourced?
Our ultimate goal as mentioned earlier is to move our client businesses to new markets where huge demand for their goods can be achieved, for them to get interested partners, investors and volume demands. In this vein, we do not intend to handle logistics directly for now until a later time when there is a better network of transportation within Nigeria and across some major commerce zones of Africa. However, we outsource logistics to third parties logistics companies by ensuring best deals for our clients and easy access to know what logistic company is best for them and why.
We will be getting our clients loads of interested buyers, guides to safe trade and monitor all their business dealings through our tools. Ensure they get enlightened with industry best knowledge from our partner association. However, business will carry on as usual between traders and buyers.
Some of the advantages we offer are to inform and invite our clients to trade fairs, trade expos, exhibitions, and trade event network. This helps them to understand what buyers are looking for as regards to quality of goods, the best method to create a superb packaging for their products, and expose their businesses to opportunities such events presents as recorded by Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) that international trade fairs and exhibitions in the year 2013, 13 of such outings were spearheaded by the council. A total number of 126 companies, mainly Small and Medium Enterprises, benefited. On-the-spot sales and orders generated by these companies amounted to $627,108.23 and $3,716,920.51, respectively.
How does your platform benefit businesses specifically like saving them money or improving their business?
Technology in this modern age is critical to exponentially scaling revenues and cost reduction, literally fastest and cheapest way of doing everything. Cokodeal’s goal is to improve the wellbeing of Nigerians through trade. How do we achieve this? For a trader in times past to reach a large audience nationally, he may have to go on television, radio or print media to place an advertisement for a day which costs a fortune for the business owner. However with cokodeal.com business listings method through its optimization, business can be seen across the continent at a rate almost as free within days, and the business can be searched for daily over a long period at no extra cost just by been listed as a business on cokodeal platform. With this concept we save the trader money.
We have also observed that local traders, due to limited trade knowledge, middle men continuously rip them off their gains, with our easy to use website, local traders can be connected directly, through his business details added on his own individual store on the platform, therefore totally removing a need for a middle man, which allows the trader to command a good return for his goods, which makes his life and family wellbeing better off, by receiving a profitable return for their yield. With this we help them make more money.
Lastly, with this connection, business can reach new markets that they can charge higher prices for their goods since it not only traded locally within the local economy, thereby bringing in more profitable return for traders. Hereby we helping them grow their businesses and improving brand exposure.
Tell us about your operations and what part of the economic social issue you aim to address
Basically our operation deals with registering businesses on the platform, giving them the technical knowhow to improve their trade and inviting them to trade shows, other parts of our operation is a little bit technical, dealing with more of technology requirements. Cokodeal.com aim is to absorb 10,000 unemployed youth into the work force using a simple model. When I was watching the interview of the selected Nigeria minister’s nominee, it was observed that one of the germane questions being asked was the engagement of the large pool of work force to get them engaged. This poses to be a big challenge for the nation. Here is our simple model, it comes in 3 phases. However before I begin, I may need to re-define employment as a means to have a basic income to cater for your needs and wellbeing not as a form for you to wear a suit and sit on a leather chair as a white collar worker. Firstly, we see a need to connect youths with factories and agricultural farms, jobs ten people do can be split to forty hereby splitting the wages over many people and government give such businesses incentives, because an income is better than none, its better we cut down our luxuries. Secondly, drop-shipping is a fast way of becoming rich in the internet age, we engage lots of youths to partner with factory that do not have time for internet work to create free store on cokodeal.com, so the youth acts like the factory agent, when there is an order, he facilitate the deal and gets a fat commission because of the volume of trade. And finally we are presently hiring youths across different region of each states to manage the region trade activities.
E –commerce is booming in Nigeria, however you are not a first mover, as there are some similar platforms to yours in the market. How do you intend to overcome competition?
Cokodeal.com is first to its niche, solely dedicated to local produce promotion and exports. We do not intend to compete directly with major ecommerce presently in the market that are more dominated in retail of imported goods and some local goods. We are focusing on local manufacturers, agro trader and local crafts wholesale and exports. We have created a multi-platform method that allows other African countries to have their unique homepage interface and trade with its own local currency. This allows us to easily scale and gain market share. With government policies tending towards economic development and diversification, we will dominate non oil exports for intra-Africa trade.
You mentioned local exporters, what impact can Cokodeal play in the diversification of Nigeria?
Cokodeal.com as Nigeria’s largest non-oil export trade platform aims to amplify the government goals at an exponential growth rate by, creating the fastest means for exporters to connect with global buyers and for easier trade within the nation. As we know, the old industrial way is a slowly dying animal; this technological breakthrough will break down barriers and boundary of trade across many countries.
With cokodeal.com we believe we can achieve tenfold growth for industries, manufacturers and small scale traders when the market is ripe. Cokodeal.com is Nigeria’s biggest promoter of made-in-Nigeria brands, we believe in the nation’s handiwork and proceeds. We cannot continually encourage flooding of our nation with imported goods that barely do any good for our economy. For our GDP to increase and wellbeing of our people, we may have to focus more on what can we do for the world than what we can benefit from the world, as a non-shortsighted goal for the economic benefit of a few, instead we have to focus on economic development not for the short term, but for a long term and national development for the unborn children.