Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators have called for more funds and research into organic products to expand their markets, boost local content.
The operators disclosed this at the Nigeria @ 60 exhibition on Made-in-Nigeria Goods and Services, which ended on Saturday.
What the MSMEs are saying
Abida Rabiu, Founder of Zholkha Global Resources Ltd., who acknowledged that Nigeria was naturally endowed with organic products needed to maintain healthy living and treat diseases, said that more research would boost the sector.
According to her, the company produces 100% natural herbal teas, sauces, spices, marinades, condiments and luxury perfumes locally sourced from roots, seeds and herbs.
She listed the raw materials as Doum Palm (Goriba), Moringa, Dates, Hibiscus leaves (zobo), Rosemary and black pepper, among others.
Rabiu, while noting that sourcing raw materials was easy for her, also advised Nigerians in the sector to desist from relying on imported raw materials.
She added that Nigeria had abundant materials for use, especially in the rural markets.
She said, “We have these roots, seeds and leaves naturally growing in excess; the rural dwellers are ready to go over the mountain to pick fresh ones.
“All we need to do is to do more research and see how we can use them for our daily needs and export.
“These products can cure and manage many diseases. Typical examples are doum palm and moringa seeds which lower and regulate the blood and sugar level.
“With good research on this, it will assist patients with High Blood Pressure (HBP) and Cancer. Tea or drinks from these natural products equally give energy.
“Instead of taking artificial energy boosters that have preservatives, it is better and healthier to use these organic products without side effects.”
She, however, expressed hope to have access to international certification and less cumbersome export processes for marketability.
Famida Abubakar of First Class Group Refreshments Ltd., an indigenous company which produces healthy, continental, local food and snacks, also called for government funding to acquire advanced machines needed for production.
Its products are dried processed lean beef (Kilishi), shredded beef and chicken (Danbun) groundnut crunch (Kuli-kuli), groundnut prince cookies (Dan Sarki), and Sesame Seed (Ridi).
According to Abubakar, the products have NAFDAC certification numbers and are mostly oven-fried to avoid contamination from flies through sun drying which gives them an edge for export.
Also speaking, Mrs Bamisaye Vivyne, Chief Executive Officer of Macariusville Dates company, which proceeses dates and other Nigerian agricultural products into powder for natural sweetener and supplements, sought for more research and visibility.
She, however, lauded the exhibition, adding that it had spurred consumers’ patronage and interest in various made-in-Nigeria products being displayed.
She decried other challenges affecting the cost of production in the sector especially the dearth of infrastructure and increase in electricity tariff among others.