12 Ways to Profit from the Tomato Value Chain in Nigeria
This article will highlight the various ways to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. As we know, tomatoes are one of the most important vegetables in the Nigerian diet. This is because many of the soups and stews that are made in Nigeria today require tomatoes in one way or the other. Yet not many Nigerian have been able to profit from the vast tomatoes value chain.
Nigeria as a country imports a significant amount of tomatoes in order to meet the consumption demand. These imported tomatoes are usually used in the production of tomato paste which is used to make the purees that are consumed in many households. As such, there exist more than one way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria.
Tomatoes provide several nutrients to the human body. They are the major source of the antioxidant lycopene. They are also a great source of vitamin C Vitamin A and also vitamin K. Tomatoes are known to contain potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. They are also known to have dietary fiber and protein. Tomatoes are known to be effective in people suffering from several ailments as it aids in the management of conditions such as: Hypertension, several cancers including cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach as well as cancer of the rectum. This is due to the action of the antioxidant lycopene which is known to fight many of the free radicals that are responsible for the forming of cancers in the human body.
Tomatoes are also known to protect the heart by reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This is done through the prevention of serum lipid production in the blood stream through the antioxidant lycopene. These lipids are those that are mainly responsible for the occurrences of the various heart diseases in human beings.
Known by the scientific name of Solanum Lycopersicum, tomatoes are believed to be native to Mexico. However, over the centuries they are known to have spread to central and South America through the Spain colonization. They grow in clusters of slightly red small to moderately sized fruits and can be found all across the world today. The following points depict how best to benefit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria:
- The Setting Up of a Greenhouse:
Tomatoes are known to do well in greenhouses the world over. So, the setting up such greenhouses is one really great way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. This is because tomatoes are known to grow even in the dry season. As such, all year round harvesting of the crop from the greenhouse is very possible. The greenhouses you setup aren’t going anywhere and will remain to be yours for life. Greenhouse agriculture in Nigeria is beginning to take root and many other crops can be grown within greenhouses as well.
- Seed Supplies to Farmers: Due to the existence of a deficit in seeds especially high yield ones, there exists a tremendous opportunity for anyone who would take advantage of such to supply high yield seeds. High yield seeds are important due to the fact that tomatoes are always in high demand. High yield crops are one of the best ways of meeting such demand. There is always a market all the year round for tomatoes in Nigeria due to the cultural factors that surround our diet and feeding.
- Supplies of Inputs to Farmers: Farmers would always require inputs for whatever they produce and as such the supplies of inputs is an important part of the value chain. Inputs provide the farmer with the required tools in order to be able to produce the tomatoes successfully. Such inputs include but are not limited to fertilizers, implements, herbicides, fungicides and so on and so forth. Without inputs, the farmer’s job is extremely limited due to the fact that the farming process is only successful if the right inputs are employed.
- Provision of Land: Providing land for farming is a stress free way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. Land itself is fixed and therefore immovable but can be leased or rented out for use by the farmers. Such leases provide the landowner with passive income which is something that everyone needs to have one way or the other.
- Provision of Labor for the Maintenance for the Farm: All farms need maintenance and tomato farms are not an exception. The provision of the labor for such maintenance activities provides the provider of labor with income which can prove to be vital in the personal cash flow of such an individual. Farming activities in Nigeria are still performed on subsistence and a semi-subsistence basis and the availability of labor is something which the farmer can exploit to his or her advantage.
- Automation of the Farming Process: For those who have the capital to invest in tomatoes on a large scale basis, there exists the opportunity to do so at a profit if the farming processes and procedures are automated. The use of large scale machinery in the farming of tomatoes is something that if implemented properly can provide profits which can eclipse the costs involved in the venture.
- Supplies of Equipment for Automation: The supplies of the equipment that are required for automation provide another source of income for the suppliers and a way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. Equipment can either be imported from other countries in which case the maintenance of such equipment is usually high or they can be fabricated locally in which case the maintenance cost would be lower than that of importing. The only difference is that fabricated equipment is less efficient than the imported ones. This does not however have anything to do with how profitable the supplier will be; it is a matter of understanding the nature of the business.
- The Use of Transportation during the Harvest Period: When harvesting tomatoes, the use of transportation is another opportunity to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. Those in the transportation sector can testify to the profits that they make during the harvest season when taking these crops from the farm to the storage location.
- The Purchase by Wholesalers: Due to the fact that tomatoes are perishable goods, wholesalers must quickly buy them and dispose of them in the market place in order to avoid losses and to make the quick profits that they are searching for. This presents an opportunity for the eagle eyed business person who wishes to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. Businesses of this nature usually have a short cycle of trade and the turnover is instant due to the high risk that is involved in the business.
- The Processing of the Tomatoes: Again as in the above, the processing of the tomatoes quickly provides a source of income to those who have the know how. This aspect of the value chain is usually performed only by people who have the expertise as tomatoes are also known to be delicate during their preparation and processing. There are many ways to process tomatoes so that their value is preserved and they can be reused later for cooking and other consumption activities. The most commonly used way is the creation of tomato concentrate through the use of fresh tomatoes. There are two types of processing in terms of the creation of concentrate. One is the hot break method which requires the heating of the tomatoes to higher temperatures and the other is the cold break method which involves the heating of the tomatoes only slightly. Another way of their preservation is to dry them for use later as dried concentrate.
- Retailing: Retailing is an easy way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. This is because of the low startup cost that is usually involved. Retailing to friends, family, associates and the general public provides a steady source of income for the retailer due to the fact that tomatoes are always in demand. It is best to retail during moments of scarcity when the retail value of the tomatoes is more than triple the usual amount available in your locality. This is only possible when you have a source or supply that is very cheap; usually from the farm or from a wholesaler who will sell to you below market price.
- Corporate Supplies: The supply of tomatoes on a corporate basis to industries is one way to become wealthy early. This is because many in the industrial sector do not have the time to be going from farmer to farmer looking for tomatoes; rather they rely on suppliers who bring these tomatoes in bulk and these suppliers make huge profits from such supplies. If you want to do this as a business it is one way to effectively make good money from the tomato value chain in Nigeria. This is done best especially during the farming season as most industries are operational then and the tomatoes can be gotten at cheaper prices than normal due to excess supply.
Do you have another way to profit from the tomato value chain in Nigeria? Are you currently in the business? Do not hesitate to share in the comments below! and if you would want to start the business and you need help, kindly call any of our consultants on 081 0563 6015, 080 7635 9735 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.