NIGERIA'S AGRICULTURE MAY BE LAGGING BEHIND BUT A YOUNG FOOD ENTREPRENEUR, ADA OSAKWE IS DOING A CREATIVE JOB IN FILLING THE GAP BETWEEN FARMS AND TABLES
Once upon a time Agriculture was Nigeria’s major source of income but since the discovery oil, the Nigerian government has ignored the once buoyant industry, leaving farmers and consumers in a continuous struggle. Today Nigeria spends over 5billion annually on importing foods, most being products that were once produced here. Considering the neglect in the food sector, Nigeria’s food industry suffers a huge loss and is lagging behind in food processing, packaging and storage, fuelling the demand for increased import.
Nigeria’s food wastage hit $750 billion last year. This was revealed by the Sales Manager, North West & Central Africa Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Danfoss, Youssef Zitouni in 2016.
Speaking he said, “80% food wasted food in Nigeria VS 33% in the world.” He also hinted that for “every ton of food waste generated, 1.9t C02 eq/t is emitted"
With the reality of horrifying details like the one above, a young Nigerian entrepreneur decided to snatch the wheel of food processing and production in the country in her own little way and she is doing it in the most creative way. Ada Osakwe a young food entrepreneur, passionate about agribusiness in Nigeria set up Agrolay Ventures in a bid to do her bit in the struggling industry. Today, Agrolay Ventures has grown into an investment firm targeting early-stage agribusinesses. The company has four investments under it - Nuli Juice Company, Nuli Foods, Nature’s Bounty and African Courier Express.
Ada came back to Nigeria on the wings of a successful career in New York this gave her access into working directly with the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, under who she served as the Senior Investment Advisor. The opportunity opened up eyes and forced her into setting up her own food business. On the job, she saw the reality of multiple abundance being wasted away in the neglect of the Agricultural sector.
Being young and unapologetically creative, Ada is focusing on the right food packaging while insisting on a proper standard. A rationale which she believes would bring Nigerian consumers back to buying Made-in-Nigeria products; “When products are competitive enough to survive foreign competition, then they indeed are good enough.” Today, her agribusiness stands out, from the brand’s clean packaging to the brand’s identity, communication.
With strictly homegrown produce, Nuli food and juice serves consumers with fresh, organic healthy options; bridging the gap between raw produce and consumers. From the farm to home table’s Ada indeed has done a good job in closing this gap.