Our project is about reducing malnutrition using locally available maize, cassava and soybean. According to the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Nigeria is one of the first 20 countries with the highest burden of malnutrition. It is with this knowledge we have explored locally grown crops with high nutrients, which are readily available and affordable: maize, soybean, and cassava.
We have selected the bio-fortified, afla toxin-free maize, bio-fortified cassava and inoculated soybean. We developed a product combining all three crops which is sure to deliver the body with its daily nutrient requirement and still be very affordable to the people rural areas.
It can be taken as a snack or as cereal; the quantity is not the only drive but also the nutritional benefits to be derived.
Who We Are
We are group of three young people coordinated by Abisola Adedigba (a female graduate of Law from the University of Ibadan and Nigerian Law School) with the aim of making wealth through agriculture.
We are Nigerian University graduates from different educational backgrounds. We comprise two females and a male. Our age range is between 23 and 25. We are located in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, Nigeria and produce in the Idi-Ose area of the city.
We started production in November, 2015 and have been making steady progress with the product development.
Mode of Operation
We reach out to youths and women in the community to grow the crops for us so we have a steady supply of inputs and they have reliable off-takers, thereby sustaining themselves (above poverty line). We operate on a mutually beneficial relationship.
After procurement, we proceed to process the crops to a consumable state and package the final product for sale (at a low price to be certain even the poor can afford it). Our product has gone through series of palatability tests and its acceptance in is wide.
We intend to become officially certified by the necessary bodies and acquire the licenses needed to sell our finished product; acquire the proper machines (line items) needed for the storage and processing of the product; proceed to full scale production and activate more out-growers.
We believe our success lies in the number of individuals and households we would impact.
Where We Are Now and Why We Are Applying for the Grant?
We produce on a small scale for our immediate community. We are not satisfied with the small-scale production we have now and are working towards producing even on a larger scale.
After preparing our raw materials, we always have to go to local millers to grind, this is not cost effective.
Extrusion during production is done manually and that in itself is a hazard which can be avoided by using an automated extruder.
After production, we have been facing constraints as regards sales. This is because we have not been able to get our product registered; product registration for us at this time is beyond our power due to its heavy financial implications.
Why Do We Deserve the Grant?
Reaching at least ten maize farmers (youth and women exclusively), ten soybean farmers, ten cassava farmers and a cassava processor, we would be pulling 31 poor rural youths and women out of poverty (in the long run) and helping them gain stability.
By producing and selling our product, we would have delivered healthy, affordable food to at least 5,000 malnourished households within a year.
By recruiting rural youths to become our focal sales agents at ten per state in Nigeria (FCT inclusive), and they further employ ten other marketing personnel, we would be making at least 3700 youths sustainably employed.
We would be in our own little way reducing unemployment in Nigeria and contributing to the economic development of the rural areas.
If awarded the grant, we shall get the following:
- Acquire 1 roasting machine USD 2,000
- 1 locally fabricated milling machine USD 300
- 5 manual extruders USD 125
- 9 burners and frying pans USD 450
- 4 x 1,000-litres storing tanks USD 300
- 12 protective clothing USD 200
- 3 weighing balance USD 150
- Product registration and other incidentals USD 1,475.
Initial purchase of maize, soybeans and cassava would be from three farmers each; the cassava farmers would be linked to a cassava processor.
The first item to be purchased would be the roasting machine for the Inoculated soybeans. Depending on availability of funds, the miller would be purchased next. Other production equipment would be purchased as funds are made available.
We envisage that in the course of production, at least five youths would be employed and at the point of sale, another ten would be employed as focal sales agents. All this to be done with the rural youths of Idi-Ose area, where we are located.
After proper product analysis, we would proceed with the registration of our products with the necessary agencies.
We are committed to introducing to the youth of today a prospective future through agribusiness; we really enjoy this however the above-mentioned challenges hinder our large-scale production.
We intend to reach out to farmers and create a synergy in our operations, reduce malnutrition by providing this very tasty and nutritious snack.
Also, we are committed to creating employment for youths in Nigeria, hence, playing a key role in the economic development of Nigeria as a nation.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Abisola Adedigba (Nigeria): abisolaadedigba[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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