Canned jollof rice
All the way from India.
I’m guessing the brain behind this is an entrepreneur who calculated the cost of canning here and canning in India, moved the raw materials to India and decides to bring it back home for mega sales.
We buy canned stew
Why not canned rice?
It is the same logic of why our cocoa is being shipped abroad, and comes back as chocolate bars. The companies making chocolate bars earn over five times what cocoa farmers earn.
Why not have the chocolate and beverage companies here? You can guess your answers.
It is not enough to say manufacturing / processing machinery for agricultural products is duty free.
The machines will be powered by what?
Think cost of production.
The raw materials for producing paper and plastic are all here.
But I want you to pick the fancy plastics in your kitchens, the ones in your deep freeze, the plastic souvenirs you bring from events, check the bottom.
Country of production?
It is cheaper to import paper and plastic into this country than produce it here.
Yesterday, I was in the supermarket, I saw plum tomatoes in cans.
And we are ‘talking’ Plateau State.
Sweet corns are in can, and we are ‘talking’ Nigeria.
The frozen potatoes you buy in packets, where are they from?
Coconut oil. From Malaysia; yet there is a town called Badagry, there is a state called Cross River.
Lagos State Government has demolished over 80% of our coconut plantation. Why? We are building a mega city soon
I buy canned palm extract to make ‘de sonnu ( banga).
That canned food is from Ghana.
So, before you say Nigeria is finished because you just learnt jollof rice, egusi and ogbono were brought in from India in “pangolo”, kindly factor in cost of production.
The machines won’t run themselves.
For any business man to bring in indigenous foods in can from another country, you can bet your entire savings on it, the overall cost is cheaper for him.
And that is an indictment on what it takes to run a business in this country.
If those canned food successfully reached the warehouse it was scheduled for, don’t you for once think our soldiers at the battle field will be glad to consume them?
There are a lot of business opportunities in Nigeria, but hammering on agriculture alone without existing structure to turn farm produce into more attractive brands will not work.
I bet you, if you had seen the jollof, egusi and ogbono on the shelves at the mall, you will buy it.
Yes, you will.
You bought baked beans, you bought canned tomatoes, didn’t you?
I will really love to know who is behind this canned jollof rice.
There is more to it.
Agbaosi Sevezun Gloria is a Nigerian entrepreneur, C.E.O of Classic A. She is a Psychology graduate of University of Ado Ekiti.
She is beautiful, assertive and industrious.