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Expo: MSME operators seek more research, fund to boost organic sector

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Expo: MSME operators seek more research, fund to boost organic sector

By Emmanuella Anokam

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) operators have sought funding and more research on organic products to expand their markets and stimulate healthy lifestyles and local content.

Some of the MSME operators spoke with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Abuja during the Nigeria @ 60 exhibition just concluded on Nigeria-made goods and services.

The exhibition, aimed at promoting local content and investment, was held from June 15 to 19.

Ms Abida Rabiu, founder of Zholkha Global Resources Ltd., while acknowledging that Nigeria is naturally endowed with biologics needed to maintain healthy lives and treat disease, called for more research to boost the sector.

She said the company produces 100% natural luxury herbal teas, sauces, spices, marinades, condiments and fragrances from roots, seeds and herbs.

She named the raw materials as: Doum Palm (Goriba), Moringa, Dates, Hibiscus leaves (zobo), Rosemary and black pepper, among others.

According to her, these are mixed with an aromatic paste that contains rich nutrients, especially vitamins that enhance, detoxify the body and improve its metabolism as well as strengthen the immune system.

Rabiu, while noting that sourcing raw materials was easy for her, also advised Nigerians in the sector to stop relying on imported raw materials.

She added that Nigeria has abundant materials to use, especially in rural markets.

“We have these roots, seeds and leaves that naturally grow in excess; the inhabitants of the countryside are ready to travel the mountain to gather new ones.

“All we need to do is 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 blood and sugar levels.

“With good research on this, it will help patients with high blood pressure (BPH) and cancer.

“Tea or drinks from these natural products also provide energy.

“Instead of taking artificial energy boosters that contain preservatives, it is better and healthier to use these biologics without side effects,” she said.

However, she expressed the hope of having access to international certification and less cumbersome export processes for market capacity.

Ms. Famida Abubakar of First Class Group Refreshments Ltd., an indigenous company that produces healthy, continental and local foods and snacks, also requested government funding to acquire the advanced machinery needed for production.

Its products are dried processed lean beef (Kilishi), grated beef and chicken (Danbun), peanut crisp (Kuli-kuli), peanut prince cookies (Dan Sarki) and sesame seeds (Ridi).

According to Abubakar, its products have NAFDAC certification numbers and are mostly oven-fried to prevent fly contamination from sun-drying, giving them an advantage for export.

Also speaking, Ms Bamisaye Vivyne, managing director of the Macariusville Dates company, which processes dates and other Nigerian agricultural products into powder for natural sweetener and supplements, also sought more research and visibility.

She praised the exhibition, however, adding that it had boosted patronage and consumer interest in various Nigerian-made products on display and called for more visibility.

She denounced other challenges affecting production costs in the sector, in particular the lack of infrastructure and the increase in electricity tariffs, among others.

NAN recalls that the nation celebrated its 60th anniversary on October 1, 2020 as the exhibit focused on portraying the ingenuity of indigenous entrepreneurs by drawing attention to Nigeria’s endowment to be tapped for export and good common to all.

The exhibition was organized by the Interdepartmental Committee on Nigeria @ 60 in collaboration with Business Visa and Trainings Co. Ltd. to mark Nigeria celebrations @ 60.

Given the importance of age in our journey to citizenship, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the celebration to be a one-year event that ends in September. (NAA)

(NAN)

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