YAP Proposal #163: From farm to pot (Peter Asuk Amba, Nigeria)

AmbaPeter_Processed and Packaged local vegetables

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.

THE PROJECT

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:

  1. Adding value to the organically grown vegetables in our GRENVEG FARM through grading, slicing, blending, packaging and preserving using vacuum sealers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Using information technology to organize sales via our interactive online sales platform (WWW.GRENVEG.COM) and Mobile application (GREENVEG APP).
  5. 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.

MOTIVATION

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.

SUCCESS FACTORS

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

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #163 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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253 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #163: From farm to pot (Peter Asuk Amba, Nigeria)

  1. At a time like this, where african diets are increasingly gowing fron natural to processed, this is exactly what we need to preserve our health and life. Good job

    1. Wow’ proudly nigerian’ u finally wanna achieve ur goals”””keep it up we are behind u’ pure African products

      1. Hi Peter,
        I appreciate your spirit and effort . I am a strong believer in Africa, Nigeria and agritreneurship. I have tried to establish farms in the past through some young men, but they failed and the money invested went down the drain. As at today, I have 7 hectres of land bought for agricultural activities and small portion of livestock in operation at the moment. I share the same vision like you listed and have prepared for it, but my problem is getting the right person to run the agribusiness as I am still working in other field of engineering . my mail is herewith….tkalu58@gmail.com. let’s connect and see if we can work together. The money you are looking for is nothing. Regards….nenye.

  2. Nice one Peter. How will you manage transportation across Lagos State given that you are using motorcycles and not refrigerated trucks? Your farm is situated on the outskirts of the State.

    1. We have a vehicle we use for early morning supply from the farm to the grenveg shops which will be located strategically in the major areas of the metropolis. The bics will be used to move goods within streets, estates etc

  3. I stop buying vegetables from the local market in Lagos because of the poor handling. if all you wrote here is implemented adhered to, i will be your client

  4. The proposal is definitely people based. It seeks to promote the production, processing, preservation and distribution of products to the market and the final consumer. The ultimate objective apart from creating employment through Agriculture it provides and make very available healthy and uninterrupted supply of fresh vegetables. This creativity is indigenous and deserves all the support to advance further and this is a noble way to actually add and improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation and to also encourage the local content mantra

  5. This is very nice. Very much needed especially outside the country. In south Africa as at today you may not find this very important, healthy and nutritious vegetables. But if you do approximately 10-15 flat single leaf will be sold for R30 #20 to 1R will be N600 . Imagine that! This will go far.

  6. This is a very wonderful and noble project. I wish government will concentrate on projects like this to ensure sustainability and healthy choice of food. Nice job Mr Peter, God is your strength.

  7. Good job Piro… That’s how I do call you. You’ve been in this for a while, you can only grow at a time when oil and gas has disappointed Nigeria, agriculture has come to the rescue. All things being equal, you will do better.. I trust you.

  8. Until we stop copying foreign lifestyl and improve on our local diets and delcacies, good health and nutritional foods will elude us. Good idea, good initiative. i you follow it through

  9. Untill we Africans decide to value ours, promote and package it properly, we will never catch up with the developed world. its time for us to be creative. Thumps up. keep the good work and follow it to its logical conclusion. All the best Amba

  10. As a lover of our local vegetables its nice to know that i can just order for my ugu,shoko,okro ewedu etc. and cook it immediatly. that is i can have my meal in 5 munites. this is great. But how can we know if its very fresh when already sliced and packed.

  11. Ok i really see ur bussines, i like everything about it, my good pray is that i pray to God to make ur bussines move well like nave befor.

  12. Great business Idea. we need more of this kinds of businesses that will help shift our nations interest away from oil. Nice one

  13. Beautiful idea.i wish u could help in training others so that the aim of having fresh veggies on our tables can be strengthned!equally the use of organic manure should be encouraged!

  14. You said vegetables can be preserved using vuccum sealers, enlighten me, how long can a sliced vegetable stay fresh in a vacuum environment.

    1. Thanks Micheal for your observation. when the vegetables are sliced , they are kept to air dry before been packaged. vaccum simply means without air. most of the times vegetables kept in the open looses water and nutrient via oxidation, reaction of air particles with the vegetables. but when it is vacumm sealed, are kept is a cool temperature using and vegetable chiller, it will remain at tha state it is for at least 2 weeks. but you cannot vaccum seal without maintaining a stable temperature. Take for example, conduct a simple experiment, Take an ugu-telfera leaf and put it in a transparent bread nylon tie the head tightly and keep it, while you take another ugu-telfera leaf keep it in the open under room temperature. the one in the nylon that is in an airtight medium will look fresher after 2 days than the one outside in a room temperature.

  15. I’ve known Peter for some years now. And it is an enriching experience to see him deploy Agriculture as a platform for development and business innovation. I love the technological approach to his business plan and his decision to provide something dire to the culinary experience of most Nigerians. My interest is surely piqued!!!

  16. I have known you to be passionate about agriculture, I like the way you package your produce, something we rarely see here. I believe you will do better with the right. Keep it up.

  17. I always think of the coming home from work and wanting to cook a fast one , and ordering fresh vegetables from the farm to use immediately. this is a dream come true for me. But how can you really make this work in a city like Lagos with alot of traffic bottleneck.

    1. Thanks Emmanuel, yes Lagos is a very busy city with lots of traffic, but we intend to navigate our way around using motobikes, also we understand how the traffic in lagos is and will time our movements to ellude traffic. also the setting up of vegetable shops is to make the fresh farm vegetables closer to the targeted consummer

  18. I am amazed at thi beautiful innovation, people inthe cities can comfortably access traditional staple healthy Nigerian soups, keep the good work

    1. We are also establishing a 4000sqm greenhouse for tomatoes and exotic vegetables production, after we commence production we will explore how to process and package. Thanks for your input.

  19. great job, great innovation. I have known you to be fervent about agriculture, I like the way you package your produce, wow.

  20. This is what we need in a time as this where most food in the market have lost their vitality. So if we can get fresh organic vegetation for our diets, our nutritional balance diets is guaranteed. Good job.

  21. I ve always loved our local vegetables but always never agreed with the way its handled in the market. if truely your production is organic and you neatly process and package, then i will root for you all the way

  22. Peter Amber, I am honestly flabbergasted towsrds the brain behind this great initiative. My supposrd question has been asked by Michael and your reply is satisfactory. Thumbs up as we look forward to your efforts places healthy food of millions not just Nationally but globally. So proud of you!. Congratulations.

  23. This is a marvelous innovation. Lagosians will be enjoying fresh vegetables. Feeding Nigeria and increasing our life span. Nice one. Keep it up.

  24. When i followed the link and saw this business i fell in love with it, if young Africans will think this way and bring innovations that will improve the quality of our traditional foods, we will be better off as a continent. great job Peter

  25. I love Ugu, and most of the local vegetables, knowing that there is an option out ther to get good vegetables whenever i need gladens my heart. Good work. hope you make lots of money from it.

    1. We presently cannot meet the demands of our clients due to lack of machines to slice,and package, since we do everything manually now. when we are fully equipped we will satisfy all our clients optimally. Thanks for your valuable contribution

  26. This is great Peter1 You and a number of other Nigerian agropreneurs are making a difference to the Food challenges of the country. This is the spirit. Well done. I pray you receive all the financial help you may require to take this to the next level for Nigeria will be better off for it. More grease to your elbows. Uche Nwaogu

  27. Good job you are doing here, with continuous hard word, Grenveg will definitely go to places, keep it up.

  28. Great job you are doing here, with continuous hardwork, Grenveg will definitely go to places, wishing you good luck.

  29. I am strongly of the opinion that the Nigerian government should focus more of thier effort to organizing and funding agro entrepreneurial initiatives like this, so that in 10-20 yaers time our economy will totally depend on local food production, who knows we can even become food exporters. Well done brother.

  30. In an era where the inorganic, artificial and carcinogenic food stuff are rapidly overthrowing the availability of natural agricultural produce with its grave health implications, no idea is more timely and imperative than this great innovation. I wish you good speed.

  31. This is wonderful project and I hope the government joins hands to make this a success…packaging and handing is superb…very hygienic.well done

  32. This is wonderful project and I hope the government joins hands to make this a success…packaging and handing is superb…very hygienic.well done peter

  33. This is a Very innovative ..brilliant idea .very well packaged and hygienic. Known Peter for years now ,very dedicated and hard working…I like the the fact it’s all organic vegetables.government should join hands in projects like this to make it a success .

  34. Amba, This is living the dream, achieving what most only dream of. Proud of you Bro. You make Nigeria, Unical and your colleagues proud. Keep flying.

  35. business is determination , out here in SA this are determination we need from our black Africa
    . this innovative is brilliant , please tell me about the packaging and your target market.

    1. We have three groups of market, the traditional markets, Restaurants and Hotels and Super Stores(Shoprite). Our packaging is simple we use bag that can be recycled and seal using automatic sealers and vacuum sealer depending on the crop and the kind of processing.

  36. This project is very rich in content. It is worth investing on… I hope it expands to other parts of the country as there is need for fresh veg every where…

  37. This is what we need now where fresh vegetables are fast disappearing from our diets. This is a commendable project to ensure healthy balance diet for our time.

  38. Mr Peter I must say I am very impressed with your idea, this is a step in the right direction, but am a bit concerned at the nutritional state of the vegetables on arrival to the end consumer.

    1. Thanks princess, the Vegetables are organically grown without chemicals so they have a longer shelf life, they will be sliced immediately they are harvested before packaging and supply. For those in the grenveg shop, they will be vacuum sealed and kept in a vegetable chiller for one day before sale so they Will still be in their natural state when the end user is using it.

  39. Wonderful business idea, we have been looking for this for a long time. Thank God you came as such a time like this to help move this nation forward through this medium. God speed sir God speed. Awesome Success and all you require you will get IJN

  40. A developing nation like Nigeria needs more people like you as food and nutrition are still very big challenges. I am very impressed by what you are doing.

  41. Hello Nenye, sorry for the unfortunate experience you had with farming, they lots of factors that causes a farming operation to fail, but the most important is management. I will send you a mail with my number so we can talk. Thanks

  42. This is very good. There is nothing like eating fresh vegetable… Human can never do with out agriculture. Bros keep it up. We re strongly with u.

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