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Posts Tagged ‘Nigeria’
Q&A with Olayinka David-West, case author of Tetra Pak and Food for Development Nigeria

Olayinka David-West is a lecturer of Information Systems at Lagos Business School, and has over 19 years experience in the local IT industry. She is also an academic director at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) Centre of Pan-African University. She combines her teaching and research interests with industry consulting engagements in the areas of Strategic IS Planning, IT Personnel Selection, IT Assessment & Review/Due Diligence, E-Business, Business Planning, Software Selection & Management, Systems Implementation, Project & Change Management, Process Improvement and Systems Design. Her research interests include the adoption, utilisation and performance of of information systems in organisations, IT governance, and issues relating to the development of IT organisations. Olayinka is currently enrolled in a doctoral programme at the Manchester Business School, and is researching e-banking performance for her DBA thesis. In addition, she holds an MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London, and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and an academic advocate to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

In collaboration with local governments, Tetra Pak West Africa (TPWA) developed a state‐wide school feed programme using Nutri‐Sip, a maize‐based meal supplement.

To download the Tetra Pak Food for Development case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Tetra Pak’s Food for Development programmes’ basic value proposition and what makes their financial models sustainable?

The value in food for development programme offered by Tetra Pak comprises of the ability to deliver basic nutrition to the Worlds most vulnerable – children in developing countries. The Tetra Pak FFD programme can only be financially sustainable with adequate investment in backward integration of the raw materials for food production. As we saw in the case of Nigeria, the importation of the soy-based product was affected by systematic logistics issues in the Nigerian ports; also in the case of local production, adequate supply of the raw materials, working infrastructure and Government commitment to purchase, and enabling policies are critical for private sector participation and sustainability.

What were the main challenges faced by Food for Development in Nigeria and how could this initiative have been scaled up?

Where health and nutrition are the main responsibilities of Governments, continuity in government administrations is one of the major challenges of food for development in Nigeria. In addition to the policy and funding issues, other challenges included logistics management, project management, and community relationship management.

What is the importance of Food for Development programmes for a country like Nigeria?

FFD programmes are important in a country like Nigeria due to the high occurrences of malnutrition in children. In addition, deployment of the initiatives through schools also encourages school attendance for both male and female children especially amongst discriminating communities.  In addition, with increasing discussions on food security, FFD programmes will also help enhance Nigeria’s industrial and food processing capabilities.

 
Q&A with Oluwemimo Oluwasola, author of Olam Nigeria case study

Oluwemimo Oluwasola is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he obtained B.Sc. (Social Science) with a Second Class Upper Division in Geography. He also holds M.Sc. and PhD Degrees in Agricultural Economics from the same University. He is a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His areas of specialization include: agricultural development and policy analysis, environmental resource economics and poverty reduction. He also teaches economic theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Until he joined the Faculty, he was a Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre, Ibadan. Dr. Oluwasola is an international scholar, development expert and consultant in agricultural development and policy analysis, sustainable environmental resource management, and rural development and urban poverty reduction. He has worked with several development partners including the Urban Management Programme (UMP), UN-Habitat, UN Volunteers, African Network of Urban Management Institutions and UNDP. He has also collaborated with the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a fellow of the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International, New York; Foundation for Environmental Development and Education in Nigeria (FEDEN); and Foundation for Development and Environmental Initiatives (FDI), Nigeria. He is an American International Visitor on Poverty in an Expanding World Economy: A Multi-Regional Project.

Olam Nigeria, a supplier of raw and processed agricultural commodities, engages smallholder farmers by supplying farm inputs and providing ready markets for their products.

To download the Olam Nigeria case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Olam Nigeria’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Olam International Limited is an international and integrated supplier of both raw and processed agricultural commodities. The company is involved in varying degrees across the total product supply chain, which include procurement of farm products as close to the farm-gate as possible, primary processing, inland transport, warehousing, marine transport, and distribution – using a network of local buying agents, primary processing facilities and logistics. Olam’s flexible business model enables it to achieve rapid and cost-effective organic growth as it pursues growth strategies that enable it to exploit adjacent and peripheral opportunities. The business model enables the company to compete favourably with other interests by ensuring growth through product diversification and increased turnover; cost sharing which reduces cost of doing business and integrating expertise across products, geographic markets, and supply chain activities to create a diversified portfolio of products and services. As an international market player, it seeks to service the market that yields highest returns for its products hence, financial sustainability is ensured.

How has Olam Nigeria improved the livelihood for farmers in Nigeria?

Olam Nigeria has succeeded in improving the lot of the Nigerian farmers in several ways. It makes available critical inputs like improved seedlings, chemicals, fertilizer and credit free and/or at market cost to farmers and on time. This has been a major problem in the nation where bureaucratic problems hinders the timely delivery of such inputs to farmers on time or get them delivered to rent seekers who pretend to be farmers. It also provides the necessary market for the products of the farmers and pays farm gate prices which are competitive. It is also in close link with the farmers to offer advisory and extension services at no cost. Finally, it has organized the farmers into cooperative groups for the farmers to have an administrative voice in the way they are managed.

Why did Olam Nigeria encourage the formation of farmer groups?

The main reason is to make it easy to deal with the farmers. Farming in Nigeria is dominated by small scale farmers and run into millions as 60% of the nations labour force are involved in agriculture. Organizing the farmers into cooperatives enable Olam to reach them in their groups. When they are given loan, the cooperative societies serve as collateral and ensures members repay their loans as well as sell their products to Olam. It is always easy to reach out to the farmers in terms of input supply or extension services through their groups.

What are the main benefits of Olam Nigeria being part of a global multi-national company?

The main benefits are in terms of access to large resources of funds to do business, provide facilities, and engage in forward as well as backward linkages to manage a product from the farm gate to the final consumer. In addition, Olam has a wider and bigger market and can be very flexible. For example, when rice is harvested in Nigeria, there will be a glut in the local market. Olam, packages this and then sell to other countries where demand and prices are high. When the product is in short supply and costly in Nigeria, it imports from other countries where prices are low and sell in Nigeria. It is also able to benefit from highly skillful pool of experts that it can move around to ensure organizational goals and targets are met. It is also able to transfer best practices across national boundaries.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

Olam does not go into established and big businesses. It looks for the small, unattended to and probably unpopular products and invests its resources to turn it into a much sort after business. Before others will come in to it, Olam has established itself as a clear leader. The strength of Olam is its ability to see opportunities and act before others will even think.

 
Q&A with Oluwemimo Oluwasola, author of Pot-in-pot Enterprise: Fridge for the Poor in Nigeria

Oluwemimo Oluwasola is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he obtained B.Sc. (Social Science) with a Second Class Upper Division in Geography. He also holds M.Sc. and PhD Degrees in Agricultural Economics from the same University. He is a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His areas of specialization include: agricultural development and policy analysis, environmental resource economics and poverty reduction. He also teaches economic theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Until he joined the Faculty, he was a Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre, Ibadan. Dr. Oluwasola is an international scholar, development expert and consultant in agricultural development and policy analysis, sustainable environmental resource management, and rural development and urban poverty reduction. He has worked with several development partners including the Urban Management Programme (UMP), UN-Habitat, UN Volunteers, African Network of Urban Management Institutions and UNDP. He has also collaborated with the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a fellow of the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International, New York; Foundation for Environmental Development and Education in Nigeria (FEDEN); and Foundation for Development and Environmental Initiatives (FDI), Nigeria. He is an American International Visitor on Poverty in an Expanding World Economy: A Multi-Regional Project.

Mobah Rural Horizons, producer of the pot-in-pot products, which is widely termed as the fridge for the poor, is based in Kano, Nigeria.

To download the Pot-in-pot Enterprise case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Mobah Rural Horizons’ basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Mobah Rural Horizons’ vision is to enhance the living standard and hence well-being of the rural poor through simple technology that does not use electricity to preserve their farm products and earn better prices.  The financial model is sustainable because the inventor earns modest profit on pots sold which keep him in business. It is a single proprietor kind of enterprise hence, the inventor enjoys tremendous latitude for flexibility in operation, pricing and marketing.

Why is this invention important for the poor?

The poor, particularly those in Northern Nigeria, are living at the margin of existence. The invention has enabled farm households delay the sales of farm products for some days so they could earn better prices rather than remaining passive price takers. The availability of refrigeration has also enabled young girls to go to school in the day time and hawk their farm produce in the evenings. Also, women who are largely kept in seclusion for religious reasons are able to use the pot-in-pot to sell processed food products thus making them income earners.

What do you see as needed in order to foster more pro-poor inventions like this one?

The major requirement is a desire to help the poor. Seeing the poor as assets rather than liabilities who need a slight push for them to take off. When such men or women are available, there is the need for support from different stakeholder and interest groups like government (provide necessary infrastructural support to create the enabling environment), development partners (to provide seed money since they appreciate the value of such inventions from the conception of the idea much better than governments) and the private sector (in terms of funding and patronage).

What are the main challenges of scaling up this model?

The enterprise is built around one man who is constrained in terms of funds, equipment and contacts. His vision may not even be dynamic. In addition, the products are not as durable and the technology is not clean. The industry is not sedentary and thus planning for upscaling or equipping it is difficult.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

The rural areas where the poor live and farm are very much neglected lacking basic amenities. Yet, there was a latent need and demand which the inventor was able to identify out of “sympathy” for the poor. That need is still there unattended to and will continue to make the pot-in-pot business thrive.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

The process has helped strengthen my knowledge in bridging theory and practice. It has further open a new vista of experience in writing case studies. It was a great experience.