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    Expo: MSME operators seek more research, fund to boost organic sector

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    By Emmanuella Anokam
    Abuja, June 20, 2021 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators have sought for funding and more research into organic products to expand their markets and boost healthy living and local content.
    Some of the MSMEs operators spoke to newsmen in Abuja at the just concluded Nigeria @ 60 exhibition on Made-in-Nigeria Goods and Services.
    The exhibition, aimed at promoting local content and investment., held from June 15, to June 19.
    Mrs Abida Rabiu, Founder of Zholkha Global Resources Ltd., while acknowledging that Nigeria was naturally endowed with organic products needed to maintain healthy living and treat diseases, called for more research to boost the sector.
    She said the company produces 100 per cent natural herbal teas, souces, spices, marinades, condiments and luxury perfumes locally sourced from roots, seeds and herbs.
    She named the raw materials as: Doum Palm (Goriba), Moringa, Dates, Hibiscus leaves (zobo), Rosemary and black pepper, among others.
    According to her, these are blended into aromatic paste which contains rich nutrients especially vitamins that enhance, detoxify the body and improve its metabolism as well as boosting immune system.
    Rabiu, while noting that sourcing raw materials was easy for her also advised Nigerians in the sector to desist from relying on imported raw materials.
    She added that Nigeria had abundant materials for use, especially in the rural markets.
    “We have these roots, seeds and leaves naturally growing in excess; the rural dwellers are ready to go over the mountain to pick fresh ones.
    “All we need to do is to do more research and see how we can use them for our daily needs and export.
    “These products can cure and manage many diseases. Typical examples are doum palm and moringa seeds which lower and regulate the blood and sugar level.
    “With good research on this, it will assist patients with High Blood Pressure (HBP) and Cancer.
    “Tea or drinks from these natural products equally give energy.
    “Instead of taking artificial energy boosters that have preservatives, it is better and healthier to use these organic products without side effects,” she said.
    She, however, expressed hope to have access to international certification and less cumbersome export processes for market ability.
    Mrs Famida Abubakar of First Class Group Refreshments Ltd., an indigenous company which produces healthy, continental, local food and snacks, also called for government funding to acquire advanced machines needed for production.
    Its products are dried processed lean beef (Kilishi), shredded beef and chicken (Danbun) groundnut crunch (Kuli-kuli), groundnut prince cookies (Dan Sarki), and Sesame Seed (Ridi).
    According to Abubakar, its products have NAFDAC certification numbers and are mostly oven fried to avoid contamination from flies through sun drying which give them edge for export.
    Also speaking, Mrs Bamisaye Vivyne, Chief Executive Officer of Macariusville Dates company, which proceesed dates and other Nigerian agricultural products into powder for natural sweetener and supplements, also sought for more research and visibility.
    She, however, lauded the exhibition, adding that it had spurred consumers’ patronage and interest in various made-in-Nigeria products being displayed and called for more visibility.
    She decried other challenges affecting cost of production in the sector especially dearth of infrastructure and increase in electricity tarrif among others.
    NAN recalls that the nation turned 60 years on Oct. 1, 2020 while the exhibition was focussed on depicting ingenuity of indigenous entrepreneurs by drawing attention to Nigeria’s endowment to be harnessed for export and common good of all.
    The exhibition was organised by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Nigeria @ 60 in collaboration with Business Visa and Trainings Co. Ltd. to mark Nigeria @ 60 celebrations.
    Considering the significance of the age in our journey to nationhood, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the celebration should be made a year-long event to end in September.

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