Most Nigerians, especially those residing in the urban centers come home from work very tired everyday and unable to eat the kind of meals they want due to fatigue.
Creating an easy to cook and time saving product like an attractively packaged grounded ogbono is no bad idea. A premium quality and attractively packaged grounded ogbono with a very long shelf life will obviously solve this problem.
These days, almost every local foodstuff is being attractively packaged with a sign of quality assurance, only a few ogbono sellers have have taken a step or two to attractively package a highly valued soup ingredient as ogbono
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Most times, this product is sold by old women in unhygienic and dirty environments in the market. This makes a lot of customers fear for their life as they can’t say what more ugly treatments this products have gone through in the hands of the wholesalers and the market women.
This is the reason why there is a need for young entrepreneurs with the will and financial prowess to dabble into this agribusiness and create an attractive product which people can always be assured of its quality.
Once quality is assured, the patronage is sure. This is because ogbono, (Irvingia gabonensis) also known as African bush mango is a very popular soup ingredient in Nigeria. In fact it is one of the most expensive soup ingredients in Nigeria.
When cooked as soup, it is known as ‘draw soup’ in all parts of the country. This food product is always in high demand due to its lack of massive production. The ogbono seed is derived from the kernel of the African bush mango fruit after the seed of a ripe fruit is split.
The trees which produce this fruits are found in West African countries like Nigeria, Southern Cameroon, and also in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.
In South Eastern and Southwest Nigeria where the trees are majorly located in dense rainforests. They are rarely planted by farmers in commercial quantity.
The reasons for this is that the tree when planted can take upto 15 years to produce fruits after planting, therefore majority of the farmers harvest it from the already established trees scattered across dense rainforests.
Although, there are reports of improved varieties that can fruit within 6-8 years. But even with this improvement, a lot of farmers are not ready to invest in this agribusiness.
Another problem is that this varieties are uncommon and not readily available. There haven’t been adequate research targeted at improving the largely unproductive cultural practices currently used by farmers who are into the production of ogbono.
For that reason, we wouldn’t advice the cultivation of this fruit as market research have shown that the most profitable sector of the ogbono business is the distribution or processing of the seed. In this post, we shall be throwing lights on the most important factors to consider before starting this business.
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What are the Factors to Consider?
1. Business Plan
It is essential to get a business plan before commencing operations. The business plan should be concise and far reaching.
It should be a product of a research relating to ogbono processing around the intended location of the business. This is to enable you have a good knowledge of what you are investing your time and money into.
The plan should also assess the market demand for your product, your target customers and where to find them. It should also consider your location, the number of staffs needed, the type of machineries needed, where to get your raw materials at cheap prices and also the financial forecast.
2. Good Location
Your factory should be located at a place very close to the market so as to avoid the long and tiring market trips. This will save you a lot of money as only less is spent on transport.
When choosing a location, the amount of electricity in the area should also be considered as most of the machines needed are powered by electricity. This will also help save a lot of funds that would have been spent on fuel.
3. Register with Relevant Bodies
It is important you follow due process, which involves registering your products with relevant bodies such as NAFDAC (The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control) and the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission).
Registering your business with this government agencies will leave your brand with a good public image, it will help assure customers of the quality of your product, improve sales and the popularity of your product as well.
The grinded ogbono are packaged into a well and attractively labelled plastic containers and nylon sachets. It is important to make sure that the supplies needed for packaging is obtained from a relatively cheap source and always available. Also ensure that the supply of ogbono seeds to be grinded is always available too.
The most important machineries needed for this business is the milling machine and the weigh pack machines. The milling machine is needed for grinding the dried ogbono seeds to the desired texture while the weigh pack machine is a fully automated machine that will be used to weigh and package the dried ogbono in the desired quantity and desired container. A power generating set is also needed due to the poor and insufficient electricity supply around the country.
The ogbono seed is a food product that is higly perishable, it is important to get a well constructed ware house to enable you store your products for a very long time.
The warehouse should also be spacious enough to allow you dry the ogbono seeds from time to time so as to reduce the moisture content and increase shelve life.
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In a smaller scale, ogbono processing can be a one man’s business, but once it’s anything other than small scale, it is not a business whose physical labour can be managed by one man, that’s why it is important to source for labour, especially those with relative previous experience. The size of human labour needed is usually determined by the size of the business.
8. Marketing and distribution
After sealing and packaging your processed ogbono, it should be taken to the market where it can be supplied at affordable prices to both retailers and wholesalers, while it is also directly sold at your factory warehouse.
With your product already registered and quality assured, it can also be supplied to popular supermarkets and marts in major urban centers across the country.
9. Advertise your brand
Bring public awareness to your brand by taking advantage of every available means of advertisement. This is very necessary because it will help improve patronage and boost customers preference for your product.
Advertisement for your processed ogbono business can be done through various means such as billboards, fliers, radio/television jingles and social media.
10. Be innovative
Be different, be unique, be innovative. Think out of the box, think of things you can do to add more value to your product.
Think of things you can do to improve quality and improve patronage for your product. You can decide to add spices to the processed ogbono, grounded crayfish could also be added to improve the taste and quality. An entrepreneur should never stop thinking.
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