Production, processing (washing, slicing, blending), and packaging of healthy, non-oxidized local vegetables (‘Ugu’-Telfairia Occidentalis, ‘Waterleaf’-Talinum Triangulare, ‘Shoko’-Celosia Argentia, ‘Ewedu’-Corchorus, ‘Green/Tete’-Amaranthus Hybridus, ‘Okro’-Abelmoschus Esculentus, ‘Okazi/Afang’-Gnetum Africanum, ‘Uziza’-piper guineense, ‘Bitter leaf’-Vernonia Amygdalina) daily from farm to pot in Lagos, Nigeria.
My name is Peter Asuk Amba. I was born in Ikom, Nigeria 37 years ago, and I am a graduate of Crop Science. After graduation, I worked with an IT training company as a career consultant/marketer and rose to the rank of a business development manager. My passion for agri-business started when I was an undergraduate, where I traded on timber, cocoa and food crops.
In 2014 I resigned to pursue my passion of becoming an agro-entrepreneur with the establishment of a 6 acre GRENVEG FARM for the production, processing, packaging and sales of vegetables in Epe-Lagos, Nigeria.
Our mission is to provide highly nutritional, organic, farm-fresh vegetables processed from farm to pot on a daily basis at economically viable low prices to the over 20 million residents and food and hospitality businesses of Lagos. To achieve this, we are introducing the following innovations:
- Adding value to the organically grown vegetables in our GRENVEG FARM through grading, slicing, blending, packaging and preserving using vacuum sealers.
- Using our mobile sales motorbikes to ensure the daily delivery to homes, restaurants and hotels of freshly harvested, processed and hygienically packed vegetables to maintain nutritional value for direct, easy and immediate use.
- Establishing 5 GRENVEG sales shops in strategic locations in Lagos with vegetable chillers for walk-in customers that yearn for farm-fresh organic vegetables on a daily basis.
- Using information technology to organize sales via our interactive online sales platform (WWW.GRENVEG.COM) and Mobile application (GREENVEG APP).
- Packaging in bags that can be recycled, with Step by Step Menus on how to prepare healthy local vegetable soup delicacies, with nutritional value printed on them.
Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and act as immuno-stimulants and vermifuges. A balanced diet should have 250-325 grams of vegetables and an average requirement for vegetables is 285 grams per person per day for a balanced diet. Meals rich in local vegetables help prevent cancer, improve blood count, reduce blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and beat diseases like diabetes, malaria, hepatitis, diarrhoea, and dysentery.
Most of Nigeria’s staple soup delicacies like efo-riro, idekan-ikong, afang, ewedu, and egusi depend totally on vegetables to be prepared. Most of the vegetables that enter Lagos markets come from the neighbouring states. If these vegetables are not transported properly, processed and stored in their natural form (without heat), they will eventually lose their nutrient constitution via oxidation. This is why we are processing and packaging to balance the moisture and nutrient content of the vegetables before use.
Also, there is a large demand gap in the Lagos market because of the high cost of transportation, drop in production due to high cost of agro-chemicals and raw materials, value reduction of the dollar to naira, and frequent oxidization and nutrients loss, which add up to the following effects: vegetable scarcity, proliferation of oxidized, low quality vegetables, heavy dependence on canned foods, highly inconsistent pricing regime, and high human mortality rate due to increased cases of cancer, diabetes, and kidney and liver failure resulting from high intake of canned food, fast food, and adulterated vegetables.
To achieve our set targets, we must satisfy the following:
- Achieve target production via familiarity with the plants’ characteristics, good management and maintenance of adequate yield, operations, expense, and sales records. Ensure quality/timely market-driven production with the aid of our FARM MANAGER software. Plan production that takes advantage of productive markets and balances market demand with harvest.
- Automate production, processing, and packaging to maintain freshness, ease of use, added value and frequency of customer purchase.
- Increase prospect conversion rate and sales via customer discounts, incentives and bonuses to sales agents.
- Enable a client feedback mechanism to emphasize customer satisfaction and on-time delivery.
- Enable transport of produce from farm to customers at all times.
- Create brand with multiple marketing models.
MILESTONES ACHIEVED SO FAR
- Establishment of a 6-acre vegetable farm.
- Renting of a 120 x 100 square meter space for pilot GRENVEG Farm Fresh Vegetables Shop.
- Purchase of one car for vegetable delivery to customers.
- Employment of 2 temporary employees and 1 permanent staff member.
- Agreement reached to supply 2 restaurants.
MY SUCCESS INDICATORS
- Supplying to 30 restaurants and hotels after 1 year.
- Selling 13,000 kg of vegetables per month after 3 months.
- Opening 3 more GRENVEG Farm Fresh Vegetable Shops after 6 months.
- Supplying 150 homes daily after 6 months.
- Employing 6 more staff members after 6 months.
$5000 FUND BREAKDOWN
- Purchase of vegetable chiller $2000
- Purchase of slicing machine $700
- Purchase of blenders $500
- Purchase of sealer $1200
- Purchase of supply motorbike $600
Blogpost and picture submitted by Peter Amba (Lagos, Nigeria) – pesuka2(at)gmail.com
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