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Nigeria is a country richly endowed with agricultural products of varying importance. One of such agricultural businesses profitable enough for you to engage in is the processing of bitter-kola for export.
You don’t need to be a millionaire before you start this business and you may not need to go through the rigors of shipping with the containers or Nigeria export promotion council (NEPC) before you are on your way to success. Though I encourage you to register with them because there are more benefit you will gain as if you register with NEPC
Sources: Bitter Kola can be found in Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and southern part of Nigeria in large quantity
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.
The product abounds in Nigeria as its growing is wide in the rural communities. Collection of the bitter kola from the rural areas and processing them for export market is a simple operation to undertake, less capital intensive, attractive to government support and above all, a noble occupation.
Processing and Packaging
In the international market, bitter kola is always required in two forms, fresh or dried. However, most importers (or buyers) always want them dried. The drying must be done in a way that the colour and taste is not affected. Drying of bitter kola is done in three ways: sun drying, natural drying, mechanical drying (using drying machines). Sun drying is the popular method in our villages but products for international market must not be dried in the sun. Natural drying method is recommended. If it is allowed to dry naturally, the butterfish colour of the product will not be affected. The purpose of drying is to reduce the moisture content.
Here is the natural way of drying bitter kola, spread it on your room (Clean floor)
Don’t allow the sun or ran inside the room, and live it for about 4 to 5 days, after then it is OK and dry for export
Drying by machines is also recommendable. The drying machines are locally fabricated and available at affordable prices, imported machines also exist at higher prices. Packaging of the products does not require a standard packaging method. The quantity of products to be exported at a point in time determines the packaging method. However, any prospective exporter can use the type of bag used in packaging rice.
Quality Control and Certification
The exporter must ensure good quality product. The product therefore must be free of foreign matters likes stones, sand, dirt, nylon, paper, etc. These will add unnecessary weight as well as contaminate the product. For the exportable product to achieve standard in terms of quality and packaging at the international market, the following parameters must be observed: commodities (the product) must be properly dried to avoid moldness, free from extraneous matters, must not be adulterated.
It is important to note that there is not standard packaging method for bitter kola , you can also seek the consent of your buyers before packaging on the type of packaging they require. Though the type of packaging for this type of product is the pp bag used in packaging rice so that air can enter. You can choose the size that fit the quantity of your product. Unless your buyers chooses something else
Currently a kg of bitter kola commands an international market price of $20, and the local price is about N300 per kg.
And calculating the price of bitter kola in our local market can be on N150 to N300 per kg depending on the point of purchase and by purchasing from the source in quantity discount. Now you can see that bitter-kola is very lucrative business that anyone can do even from your bedroom, imaging buy $1 per kg and selling $20 per kg. Calculate the gain in multiply (hundred and thousands kg. per tones) quantity, it is however advisable to reach out to the local areas, rural and village markets where it is sold on baskets and in quantities for possible reduction of price as it follows that the cheaper you purchase locally the better you stand a case for more profit at the export market (Kindly confirm market price, above is for analyses)
In making your export pricing as regard any enquiry that you may receive from prospective buyers, the following steps must be carefully considered: analyse the enquiry carefully, note what the customer asked for CIF or FOB, delivery time and payment terms, etc.
It is very important when it comes to maintaining a good quality. This implies that exportable product including Bitter kola must be free of foreign matters like stones, dirt papers, nylon, sands etc must not be among this product you are exporting, because this will not only add unnecessary weight but will contaminate the product especially while it is used for medicinal and food purposes.
This is the recognized international unit of measurement that is used in export, it represent a total of 1000kg weight of any product including Garcinia-Kola (bitter-Kola). That simple means that 1000kg represent 1 TON. So in calculation 10 TONS will be seen as 10,000Kg
NOTE: As a small scale exporter, if you don’t have enough money to source for the bitter-kola in tons, I strongly encourage that you start with A TRIAL ORDER which can be from 100kg
A trail order can be seen as small scale way of exporting bitter-kola with very little capital start up
Without going for TONS ORDER which may need some huge amount to source
Before any prospective exporter starts to source for the bitter kola products for export, it is advisable to source for an wxport order/ This involves communicating with a genuine buyer abroad and agreed on a price and the quantity, packaging method and terms of payment and delivering method and such terms as may be relevant
As small scale exporter, you don’t need shipping your goods because you must register with the NEPC before you will need to ship your goods, but as an Home-based exporter, you may not need this
Post office: Nipost, has been the cheapest method of exporting bitter-kola compararbly with courier service. Though it may delay and in some for some days or week before the products get to the buyer
Courier services: DHL, EMS, IFEX, UPS etc.
A courier service has been as fastest easiest method of exporting and importing of goods including bitter-kola. DHL is more expensive than some other courier service, so I advice you make your choice for the cheapest and effective transportation method you will use for exporting you bitter-kola
Writing your proposal letter for export product
Writing a proposal is as much fun as having your teeth drilled and reading them is a whole lot better
So why do customers ask for proposal?
While one motivation is that the customer or the buyer wants to compare offers from various suppliers to make sure they buy the highest value proposition
Whatever the buyer or customer’s motivation, the fact is that proposal writing has become a common requirement for closing a business sales through out the entire business world
Writing a winning proposal
There are four categories of content that proposal must contain to maximize your choice of winning the business deals
v Evidence that you understand business problem and need: Whatever is the client interest you must show that you understand it and have based your solution on it
v A compelling reason for the client to choose recommendation over others: you must make a stronger case which provide a higher return on investment, lower total cost, faster payback or some similar measure of value that matters to the customer.
v A recommendation for a specific approach, program, system design or an application that will solve the problem and produce positive business result: A recommendation explicit links the features of a product to the clients need and shows how client will obtain positive result
v Evidence that you will deliver on time
BUSINESS PROPOSAL SAMPLE
(SAMPLE BUSINESS PROPSAL)
PROPOSAL TO SUPPLY OF GARCINIA-KOLA
BODY OF THE LETTER:
We are into supply of Garcinia Kola, a typical form of herbs that serves as health stimulant and dietary supplements and herbal remedies and has various uses for the production of various types of medicine.
If you require samples, we will be obliged to send it to you, please we hope you will get back to us as soon as possible
We shall package according to your demand and our price and payment terms will be communicated to you as soon we get your reply
We hope to hear from you soonest as we hope for a mutually beneficial business relationship
The prospective Garcinia Kola foreign buyers might demand for samples to be sent to his company for test or verification. The sample can be in some pieces of 5,7,10 or more pieces of Garcinia Kola As an exporter make sure that the importer show a genuine interest in buying your product before you can send the samples
You can also ask for their courier account, which means that if they have a courier account it does not cost you a dime to send , however if the company does not have a courier account it means you have to bear the cost of the courier service
You can see how brief the introductory letter/mail is, then you can send the quotation after receiving the reply, your quotation in terms of pro forma invoice stating the price, the quantity, you can supply per kg which is $17Kg/ it is negotiable
If the buyers insist that you should send them more than you can cope with in terms of tones (which is 1000Kg per tone) you have to insist that he should give you a trial order, first that means you can send 50Kg through EMS etc because you are doing it as a small scale exporter and doing the trial order you are already in export business, imaging sending trial order up to 2 to 3 times you will be amazed at the amount of money you will make in dollars
You can see that you can start this business with N20,000 because if you are shipping a trail order pack of 50Kg of bitter-Kola and are buying the bitter-Kola-kola for N150 per Kg that means
Total amount = 50Kg = N7,500
Sending e-mail =
Project Implementation Cost Estimates
The project can be carried out on a small or large scale basis. A capital base of N100,000 is enough to start this business on a small scale. Raising this money could be by personal savings of the investor, borrowing from friends and relations, assistance from SMEDAN, loans from Microfinance banks, and/or other feasible sources. The viability of this project will ensure that the account of money raised in funding this project can be generated within two years of operation after all operational expenses are met.
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