Agriculture

Food and Beverage West Africa: Made-in-Nigeria products records huge patronage

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Some local producers of foods such as plantain flour, yam flour, grounded locust beans and beans flour among others are recording huge patronage at the ongoing Food and Beverage West Africa Exhibition.

Some of the products which are neatly and attractively packed are alluring to most visitors at the exhibition, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Mrs Omotayo Alabi, an official of Omonide Farms Ltd exhibiting at the event, told NAN that the firm had serviced mostly Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Alabi said that the decision to come to the event became imperative because they observed that Nigerians needed healthy, wholesome and home grown foods.

“So far, the turnout has been impressive. We have had to call in for more products from our office because what we have here did not meet the demand.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase healthy foods that are Made-in-Nigeria for Nigerians, well packaged and affordable,’’ she said.

Mr Olumide Olayomi, Chairman of Omonide Farms, who was represented by an official of the firm, identified as Kingsley, told NAN that there were challenges affecting exportation of their products overseas.

He said: “Although, we have been pushing through most of these challenges because we are majorly an African food exporter, we work hard to meet international standards for the U.S. and Canada markets.

“One of the major challenges in the export process is the Apapa road issue, getting our products through those roads is a task. Then incentives by the Federal Government for exporters are not coming as they should among others,’’ he said.

The officials, however, commended the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for their support, especially exposing them through the drill of meeting standards to eradicate rejection at the receiving country.

NAN reports that Omonide Farms is the maker of O-Funirem Foods registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they produce smoked catfish, plantain flour, pounded yam flour, locust beans powder, cassava flour, yellow and white gari and Ofada rice among others in different sizes.

Another exhibitor, Riella Agro-Tech Ltd, showcased their Benue Yam Poundo, Benue fresh yams, and fruits like pineapples from Edo, mangoes, cashew nuts, palm oil and honey.

Mr Olu Peters, Head of Commodities, told NAN that though the farm was located in Benue, they had an office outlet in Lagos which was the commercial hub of the country.

Peters said: “This exhibition is a good initiative, we are excited to be showcasing our products. We all know Benue for the sweet yams they produce, that is why our bestseller, Benue Poundo is doing great.

“We had to start selling the products from the opening day even though it was indicated that June 18 was just for showcasing.

“Our fruits are also doing well because they are sumptuous and well cultivated, people are rushing them,’’ he said.

Peters, however, identified some challenges in transportation of perishable produce, taxation, electricity and lack of government incentives to keep people in business.

Ayo Fadimu, a visitor to the event, said she had been able to buy almost all the foodstuff that she needed at home.

Fadimu said that she was happy with such an event because a buyer could easily trace the source of the products one buys.

NAN reports that the Food and Beverage West Africa Exhibition is organised be the B to B Events to bridge the gap between buyers and consumers as well as create a market for economic stability via luring foreign investors into the country.

Other local exhibitors and partners  included Graceco Foods Ltd, the Restaurant and Food Services Proprietors Association of Nigeria (REFSPAN), Onitsha Main Markets Traders Union, Ogbaru Main Market Traders Association, National Association of Supermarket Owners of Nigeria and Association of Food Vendors in Nigeria among others.

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Itohan Abaralaserian

Itohan Abaralaserian: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. We are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and we strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @ nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

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