As the demand for oil in the international market begins to dwindle. It begins to dawn on Nigerians, being a sole dependant on earnings from oil export, that there is need to source for other source of earning foreign currency
And the other means that readily come to mind is nothing other than the abadoned agricultural sector.
Nigeria in the early years before the oil discovery was know for the massive production of groundnut in the North, cocoa export in the west while the south was known for rice production.
The potentials of non-oil exports have been untapped due to over dependence on crude oil which generate an estimate of over 90% of Nigeria’s exports.
Nigeria dependent on oil revenue made the country so left behind in the agricultural sector that we have to depend heavily on importation of crops because we could barely produce what can sustain us despite that we have the largest land mass area lying fallow.
Of recent, the government has been making some little efforts though not felt yet in trying to revive agricultural production.
The requirements for exporting goods to foreign countries from Nigeria depend largely on the products in question.
The first step to consider when considering to do export business is to work it back from the market.
Market refers to any means or method by which goods and services are exchanged.
In agricultural produce exports, its the process by which the producer supplier goods to the buyers to get paid in foreign currency.
As it is often said in businesses that,
“Customers are king”.
No business ever survives without customers.
A producer therefore must look for the right means to source for the customers. He or she must also produce quality good that the customer is willing to buy.
This is where a survey is necessary. A survey of what the customers are in need of and would readily part money with is what should be considered.
The production or supply must be target to meet the customers taste.
Customers and buyers can be sourced at trade fairs, agric convention etc.
Armed with the customers demand, the producers go back to do his homework.
* Quality and Quantity production
Due to the high volume of produce that is required in export, one producer can not meet up the demand that is usually in tons.
Next step for an intending export producer is to either partner with other producer or set up his or her own group of partners that have the same zeal and passion to produce.
Don’t forget there is a quality demand that is expected to be met. The group will have to go through some trainings and discussion to agree on how to produce to meet such standard.
Another important aspect is to also know the capacity of each group member. A group member might be able to produce 1 ton while some might have the capacity to produce more than 100 tons.
The expected production are then estimated and written against the name of every group member.
Some of the discussion will also centre on
* The planting and expected harvesting day
* The variety of seed to be use
* The packaging material and method
* The storage and preservation method
* Price per kg of the goods
* Type of certification required
All the above and more must meet the standard quality that is requested by the buyer of the intended produce.
The group all agreed to come under the same name so as to take into consideration all the neccesary registration and documentation to support their produce for the target export.
* The production
Then it is time for production. Each group member get to work to produce their own part of the expected total produce.
The team leader finds time to go round the farm once in a while to check and gibe support to the team members.
Traceability is the process of tracking and tracing a particular good in time and space.
Traceability is highly required in a group project or network for export.
For instance a group of 100 members whose good will be collated for supply need to have an identification tag or code on their produce to know who is supplying what particular basket.
Eg. Code 001, 002 etc will be tagged to the packaging material.
This is to be able to know who ever default in their production process’s.
Eg. A member might choose to use synthetic to produce what is termed organic.
This when discovered will surely cause an issue the group supply. But rather than penalising the whole team, the one with the code get discredited so others don’t suffer for that.
* Collection Centre
The goods are then collated at harvest, packed according to specify package and labelling that meets standard.
Each group member send theurs to the collection centre which check and see if they are in good order they are either shipped or flown to its destination.
In some cases, the buyers put in some technical or financial support to assist the team. The technical support could come in term of seeds, organic pesticide, some assistance with registration or packaging material etc.
With this method the quality of the produce is guaranteed and there will be no hazzles with meeting all the necessary tests that will be carried out on the produce before acceptance
Exporting become easy once the first good has been shipped out. The group member keeps perfecting their acts.
Other produce can also be added to the supply as times goes on. New members can also be adopted that will follow suit with the supply.