In cities and towns across Nigeria, the markets where food products are sold and bought for consumption are generally open, dirty and unhygienic environments. Open drains and gutters, dump sites and fly-infested stalls and tables are common sights in these markets.
This state of affairs is unhealthy and exposes both buyers and sellers to countless health and physical hazards. It has also made agri-business unattractive to youths and recent graduates, leaving its vast potentials unexploited. It has also left us exposed to the dangers of food shortage, poverty and high unemployment rates.
My name is Mike Obioma Ugochukwu. I am 28 years old and I am a Nigerian residing in Kabusa, one of the many rural communities adjoining Abuja, capital city of Nigeria. Through my project “Purim Food Market,” I hope to address the problem of unsanitary food markets by establishing Nigeria’s first solely food supermarket, with a modern and technologically enabled approach to food business.
I intend to do this by transporting fresh food items, ranging from staple foods, vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products that are bought cheaply in rural farms and then preserved, packaged and marketed, to a neat and hygienic market.
The idea first came to me in 2010 as an intern in the National Planning Commission, Abuja which is a government organisation tasked with economic and national planning in Nigeria. I was there for 6 months as part of the first implementation plan team for vision 20:20, an economic framework of the federal government to improve the quality of life of Nigerians and move the nation towards becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by year 2020.
After graduating from university in 2012, the idea became necessary to tap into one of the vision 20:20 policy thrusts of ending extreme hunger and ensuring food security.
The Purim Food Market project is Nigeria’s first solely food supermarket, and it will go a long way to change how food is marketed in Nigeria. It has the potential to transform my community, Kabusa, into a major commercial centre and will open up the rural town to the opportunities that abound in the federal capital of Abuja.
The first step to achieving the Purim Food Market goals is to get a space for the location of the business. The next step is to equip the shop with modern food preservation machines and other food retailing equipment. Next is to fill the store with food produce and then get a minivan to do food delivery and serve as a mobile food market.
So far, I have been able to achieve the first step and kickstart the project through support from the district chief of Kabusa, along with friends who believe in my project. I rented a good space to locate Purim Foods Market. The actual measurable success factors for my business are Purpose, Process and Customer satisfaction.
The purpose of organising the business is to solve a problem: ensuring food security in my community. The process is the activities that people working together undertake to achieve this purpose. The customers are people outside the organization who are willing to pay money in return for the products and services the organization provides to their highest satisfaction.
The $5000 grant will be used to procure machines and equipment for proper food storage and preservation, purchase of food produce from rural farmers, installation of machines and other marketing equipment, quality packaging of food products and procurement of a van for transportation and mobile delivery.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Mike Ugochukwu (Kubosa, Nigeria) – mikelobioma[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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