Naija Foodie Update


Some three years back there was a debate around the use of brine solution on chicken that is sold in fast food retail stores across the country. At the time we requested the Ministry of Health, which is the only regulatory authority, to provide us with specifications on the amount of brine that can be applied on chicken and other food
items such as beef.

There were no answers forthcoming from the ministry, except a brief statement that the companies using brine solution should do it with care.
This week, the Minister of Health, Dorcas Makgato stated that the some imported foods are responsible for the spread of non-
communicable diseases. Our country imports more than 50% of food items from neighbouring countries, especially South Africa.

Such imports include chicken, pork
and vegetables among others, which are not subjected to intense scrutiny when they are crossed into the country and ultimately into our plates.
Many, if not all fast food retail stores originate from South Africa, their preferred destination for importing food items including chicken, and pork and even beef,
which is in abundance in Botswana.

It is against this backdrop that we call for strengthening of laws and establishment of Food Regulatory Authority or Commission that will be mandated with ensuring that all the food that is in circulation in Botswana is safe for consumption. The body can go for benchmarking exercises in developed countries such as in the European Union where public safety is given priority than
anything else.

The body should set safe limits of
ingredients in food items and drink beverages, and any chemical or colourant found in food items. We should always remember the China infant milk scandal of 2008; the UK sausage scandal of
2012 and Robertsons spice
scandal of 2005 as events that
demonstrate the need for
comprehensive food safety laws.

The minister acknowledged
that we have good policies but many of them need to be strengthened and harmonised and responsive to current and emerging issues. As matter of fact, the minister was too embarrassed to state that several agencies scattered across ministries
mandated to protect the consumer are not effective.
These policies can only be enforced by an Authority that dedicates all its time to ensuring that the public is protected from
unscrupulous traders and individuals who are bent on making quick cash at the expense of unsuspecting members of the

The Authority will also ensure that traders who erase expiry dates of canned foods are severely dealt with. We have long neglected
public safety and the time to act is nay or else we will wake up when it is too late to reverse the damage.

The minister should take leadership in ensuring that this Authority is established before the end of the eleventh Parliament
and that will be her legacy.

Naija Foodie Update


As part of its continued efforts to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of young Nigerians, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, is currently providing opportunities to more
than 100 small businesses in Nigeria’s Food Industry through provision of free storefronts at the GTBank Food and Drink taking place in Lagos to commemorate the 2017 Worker’s Day.

The two-day event offers small businesses in the Nigerian Food Industry a free and vibrant platform to connect with a wider
segment of their target markets as well as experts in their business fields. Promoters of the fair told journalists in Lagos on Friday that the 2016 edition had over 90 exhibitors from the food sector and attracted more than 25,000 guests.

They promised that the 2017 edition will expand on the favourite features of the previous
event, such as MasterClasses led by
internationally renowned Chefs and Sales Exhibitions by small businesses. Assistant Manager and Group Head, Communications & External Affairs at the bank, Oyinade Adegite, said: “It will also
provide new and exciting features such as a Farmers’ Market, where SMEs involved in agriculture will showcase and sell fresh and
organic farm products, and a Baking Masterclass for children kids.

There will also be a diverse range of restaurants offering mouth-watering dishes, outdoor grills and thrilling entertainment as well as savoury wine tastings to enable attendees experience an exciting and eclectic mix of undiscovered brands and household names alike.

She further added that the exhibition will be free to attend and guaranteed an unparalleled food experience for everyone,
pointing out that all that is involved is online registration
It was also revealed at the press briefing that a wide variety of cuisines at the fair would be such that one can munch his or her way around the world.

“If you are a food lover, get set to loosen your belt for the gastronomic delights that will be served by a diverse range of restaurants offering mouth-watering dishes. If you love drinks, then prep your taste buds for savoury wine tastings and finely mixed cocktails.

“At the heart of the Food and Drink fair is the exhibition and sales by over hundred SMEs in the Nigerian food industry. Geared
towards promoting indigenous agriculture and supporting small businesses, the Exhibition will provide a platform for SMEs to showcase a wide variety of products ranging from fresh organic groceries to dry foods, confectionary and pastries, ready to eat consumables and drinks as well as top quality crockery,” she stated.

Meanwhile, in an earlier statement, the organisers had stated that there would be
cooking master classes, with the masters of cooking, including internationally renowned chef, Raphael Duntoye, chef patron of la petite maison, famous food and
fitness expert Kevin Curry and pop-up restaurateur – Lerato Umah-Shaylor. “Nothing better embellishes delicious foods than watching celebrity chefs prepare them live, and that’s exactly what you will get at the GTBank Food and Drink MasterClasses.

The MasterClasses will be led by
internationally renowned Chefs, such as, Raphael Duntoye, chef patron of la petite maison, famous food and fitness expert Kevin Curry, TV chef and pop-up restaurateur Lerato Umah-Shaylor and renowned food blogger, Jehan Powell.

Other Masterchef headliners include Ronke Edoho, founder of, Nkesi Enyioha, owner of HSE Café, Chef Abiola
Akanji of Red Dish Chronicles and Chef Benedict Okuzu, the West African Chef Ambassador for German home appliance brand, “Miele.”

Naija Foodie Update


The UN said four countries including Nigeria are facing a humanitarian crisis

Food aid will be cut for more than a million Nigerians affected by Boko Haram’s insurgency if promised funding from the international community does not arrive, according to a United Nations official. Peter Lundberg, the deputy UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, wrote in the French newspaper Le Monde that just 15% of the UN aid appeal for one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises has been received.

Over the next six months, 242 million dollars (£193 million) is needed to help 1.8 million people, he said. “Without sufficient financing, the World Food Program (WFP) will have to reduce its vital support,” he wrote.

Half a million children in north-east Nigeria are suffering from severe malnutrition, Mr Lundberg warned. “Without treatment, one in five will die.” WFP’s Nigeria office did not respond to a request for more details on what aid would be cut and when.

Nigeria is part of what the UN has called the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body was founded in 1945, with more than 20 million people in four countries facing possible famine. The other nations are South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Mr Lundberg said the UN has appealed for one billion dollars (£780 million) in aid this year for Nigeria, where an estimated 4.7 million people in the north-east are in urgent need of food aid.

Nigeria’s military has been fighting to win back areas that have been under the control of the Boko Haram extremist group. The Islamic insurgency in the vast north- east has disrupted both markets and farming, creating the hunger crisis.

Naija Foodie Update


Frozen food business in Nigeria has become another successful goal to become rich and have a sustainable income. The demands for frozen foods only grows concerning to the increase of
middle-class citizens. Moreover, these citizens tend to live in urban areas of Nigeria.

If they can get some fresh food in
rural areas of the country, it may not be an option for big cities. It makes frozen foods business one of the best options for new entrepreneurs. Frozen food poses many advantages for any urban consumer. The frozen state of
the food keeps it fresh and saves nutrient elements. The business is very profitable as depending on the food`s size and sale location, one entrepreneur can get up to 200% profit.

How to start frozen food business?
Frozen food business plan sample
First of all, you need to have a business plan for the frozen food business. When you start your business many things come into your mind. Therefore, you need to
analyze the market and your actions to conquering the market.

It means that your strategy would be divided into two folds:
1. How to survive?
2. How to prosper?
You may need to find other persons who are also in the frozen foods business. They would give you a professional advice how
to write a business plan. The simplest business plan consists of the following clauses:
Product description. In this part, you need to include your type of goods to sell, distributors, farms, manufacturer, freezing, and packaging process.

Equipment. You need to include how many freezers you plan to get and if they are ready to be sold or ship. If you are setting up a frozen food business from home, then you should explain the whole process for packaging and
freezing. Describe vehicles you plan to use to distribute your products.

Industry: If you plan to sell directly to consumers, then you need to analyze the market demand of the area where you
want to sell products. You should explain why people will want your product! If you plan to sell to the local restaurants and groceries, then identify the size of
the business. Do not forget to analyze your competitors and prove that your food would be competitive on the market.

Marketing: In this section, you need to describe how you will sell the products. If you plan to sell it directly, then explain your packaging and label that will help
people to buy food from you. Marketing also cover your product promotion plan.

Finances: In this part, you need to
estimate your profit and expenses. Do not forget that expenses include the cost of equipment, delivery, packaging, storing and manufacturing. Calculate your prices and be sure that they are
marketable. You should also calculate some products you need to sell to stay in the frozen food business in Nigeria. The frozen food business plan is to be composed for three years at least.

The mentioned above clauses are minimally required for a frozen food business plan.
Business Capital
It`s an essential part if you want to launch your frozen food business. You should search for capital before you start any
business. The scale of your venture is limited by the amount of money you have brought to support it.

Moreover, you should understand that before your recently open frozen food shop starts to bring you profit, you need to invest
a huge amount of money in it. Make enough budget so that you would cover all initial expenses. You might also consider setting aside some sum of money to stay in business if you can`t stabilize your income in first months.

Product Line: Think clearly about what you are going to sell to the people. You might think about
getting your hands on poultry products as they are in great demand. Therefore, poultry and seafood can be your first option as it`s the best to start with something what everybody needs. Still, make your local market analysis, try to find what the number one frozen food in the
area is.

For instance, you want to start with fish, then try to find which fish people prefer in this particular area. Moreover, if you want to sell different frozen products, then do
not store them in one refrigerator. For example, fish has not pleasant aroma for some people. If you are about to start poultry and fish frozen food business, then some people may not like the idea of
getting two products from the same refrigerator.

Suitable Location: The location is also a necessary part of any
business. Some ventures thrive in certain locations, while others fail. Once again, make a complete analysis of the area you want to start your business. Moreover,
analyze your frozen food shop perspective in two years in this area.
If you understand that you will live in this area in the survival mode and it will not change in the next few years, then why don’t you consider other options? Initial
costs for the business can provide you few month of the survival mode until you start to get profit.

Naija Foodie Update


A South African company, Berfin, is discounting the frosty relations between the two countries in its
mission to expand to Nigeria.
The Cape Town-based food exporter will form part of a 20-member strong delegation of South African companies the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will lead to Ghana and Nigeria on a trade mission from
March 20-25.

Senior Marketing Manager at Berfin, Portia Schippers, is enthusiastic ahead of the
She said any business wishes to export their products and services should take advantage of the mission to West Africa.

“It is an opportunity to check the market and see if the market can be valuable for one’s products. Most people still think that
Africa has nothing to offer, but that is not true,” said Schippers.
Berfin is a local company specialising in the manufacturing of juices, cooking sauces, condiments, spices, sweets, chutneys, salad dressings, stocks, canned items, dried fruit and non-alcoholic sparkling grape juices.

The mission forms part of the DTI’s objective to identify and create export markets for South African value-added products and
It also serves to promote South African products, and service offerings, and to also create business partnerships between
business communities of the three
respective countries.

Sectors targeted for the mission are agro- processing, electro-technical, infrastructure, mining and capital equipment.
South Africa’s exports to Nigeria increased from R6,4 billion in 2012 to R8,3 billion in 2015, slightly declining to R6,4 billion in

The two countries continuously traded goods at high capacity and Nigeria maintained the trade surplus of R23 billion in 2016, Trade Minister, Rob Davies, confirmed.

Naija Foodie Update


A representative of the United Nations, Mr Patrick David, made the disclosure in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting on food security in northern Nigeria.

Mr David said the situation was worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency, as well as the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the region.

He noted that after studying the
population of those affected by food insecurity, one of the recommendations to address the situation was to strengthen their access to food.

“Food assistance is very critical for lots of people in the Northeast states. In addition to that, we’ve seen that the level of malnutrition in these three states (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa) are very critical.

“It’s one of the other recommendations to strengthen the fight against malnutrition in these states and in everywhere we can find children in difficult situation.

“Globally when you look at the 16 states, the expected estimate is that more than eight million people are food insecure.
“Of course majority of them are in the Northeast states and there is more than 4.5 million people who still need assistance because they are severely food insecure in the three Northeast states.

“Besides that, the recommendation for the majority of these states which have been studied is to strengthen their access to food.

“The recommendations are expected to be proposed to decision makers to find a way to strengthen the resilience of this

“There are many ways to strengthen the resilience in agriculture, in livestock production, in fisheries,” the UN official explained.

Naija Foodie Update


WorldStage Newsonline– The Nigeria Bar Association and the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) have accused the Nigerian government of not taking into account the concerns of local farmers and critical stakeholders in the passing the
Nigerian Biosafety Management Act 2015 into law, saying the contents of the Act lacks the legal safeguards to protect Nigerian
food culture, environment, ecosystems and human health.

A communiqué issued at the end of a one day workshop held in Benin City said the NBM Act was passed into law contrary to the
provisions of the African Union’s Model Law on Biosafety and the Cartagena Protocol.

The communiqué stated that there were several fault-lines in the NBMA Act which required the Act to be urgently reviewed and the GMO permits issued withdrawn.

It said the Nigeria government had been complacent about the covert activities of the biotechnology industry to undermine food sovereignty in Nigeria. According to the communiqué, “That Institutions that are created to protect our
environment and biosafety are actually hand-in-gloves with corporations that are trying to flood our country with exotic and
risky products and merchandise.

“There is inadequate information and awareness on food sovereignty issues in the media thus shutting out critical stakeholders, deepening public ignorance and inhibiting contributions to solutions “There is need for a local and national
paradigm-shift towards food sovereignty based on local contextual considerations,
promotion of small-scale farmers,
pastoralists and fisher-folk which have defined indigenous agriculture based on human rights and sustainable natural resource use.

“Production of GMOs is a threat to our biosafety; poses great threat to human and environment health and severely impedes the attainment of sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty /security.

“Promoters of GMO and their allies have deliberately ignored the importance and the peculiarities of Nigerian culture, environment and agriculture in their aggressive attempts to impose their products and merchandise on Nigeria.

Healthy Eating


Nigeria’s rice self-sufficiency
struggle has been on for a long
time now, yet the country remains
the largest importer of the staple
food commodity with an average
annual spending of about $2
billion with the bulk of the imports coming from Asian countries, mainly Thailand and India.

According to the Federal Ministry
of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimated
rice demand in Nigeria reaches 6.5
million MT in 2015, but less than
half of it is produced locally leading to a deficit that is being filled by imports which cost the country over $2 billion of foreign exchange per annum. This local production shortfall leave a gap 4.0 million MT that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders.

To address such an untenable
situation, the government of
Nigeria has proposed policy
incentives, including under its
Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) that encourages
investment in domestic paddy
production and milling with the
objective of making Nigeria self-
sufficient in rice.

The federal government of Nigeria
policy direction coincides with the
mission of the Dangote group
which has always focused on the
provision of basic need that touch
the lives of peoples. In line with
this mission and encouraged by
the clear policy commitment of the Buhari Administration, the Dangote Group are committed to making significant investment in the Nigeria Agricultural sector
including the Rice Value Chain
established the Dangote Rice
Limited (DRL) as its vehicle for the
execution of its strategy in this

Dangote Rice has a mandate to
locally produce high quality milled, parboiled rice for the Nigeria market. This goal will be achieved by sourcing the raw material (paddy) requires from the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme.

In ensuring this, Dangote Rice, a
subsidiary of Dangote Group multi- million naira 25,000 hectares of rice Outgrower Scheme in Sokoto State having a prospect of hundreds of thousand of employment opportunities for the rural communities inhabitants.
Sokoto state is the second after
Jigawa out of the 14 states spread
across the state where Dangote
Rice plans to operate outgrower
scheme to empower local farmers
and create job opportunities for
community dwellers and reduce
migration to the cities.

Dangote Rice Projects in the 14
states, when, operational, will
generate a significant number of
jobs and increase take-home
income for smallholder farmers, all while diversifying Nigeria’s
economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill.

By year-end 2017, Dangote Rice
plans to produce 225,000 MT of
parboiled, milled white rice. This
will allow the company to satisfy
4% of the total market demand within one year. The company’s model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16% of the domestic market demand for rice within the next few years.

The president of Dangote Group,
Aliko Dangote never relent in its
chart for paving way for the country to become rice self sufficiency. It would be recalled
that Dangote said, Nigeria would
be self-sufficient in rice, sugar and
other commodities in 2019.
Speaking at the launching of
Sokoto rice Outgrower scheme,
Dangote said, “Agriculture remains
an important sector in our economy despite the neglect it has suffered over the years. The
uniqueness of the agricultural
sector in our economy is buttressed by crucial role it can pay in addressing the challenges of unemployment, rural-urban
migration, low level of our
industrial capacity and poor living
standards of Nigerians.”

According to him, within the next
three years Dangote Rice Limited
(DRL) is aiming to produce at least
one million tonnes of high quality
parboiled rice which will be made
available to the Nigerian market,
making the commodity affordable
to ordinary Nigerians.

“To achieve this, objective, our
plans include cultivating about
160,000 hectares of irrigable rice
farmland in selected states,
including Sokoto State that will be
cultivated to grow paddy during
two cropping-seasons per year
and achieve a minimum yield of
five to six tons per hectare.
“DRL is committed to off-taking not less than 80% of the paddy
produced by the outgrowers.

We will also develop our own farm operations to include seed
multiplication capabilities. With this ambitious programme, DRL aims to boost the local economy, create jobs along the value chain and make a significant contribution to the transformation of subsistence farms into market-oriented agribusinesses.”

Naija Foodie Update


Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has explained why prices of food items are high in the country.

Osinbajo said one of the reasons was lack of accessible roads in rural areas.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity quoted
Osinbajo as making this remark at the Task Force on Food Security constituted by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the meeting, which was presided over by the Ag.
President focused on “gaining a full understanding of all factors that contribute to unduly high food prices, especially at urban markets throughout the country.

“It also considered the ways and means of urgently ameliorating the situation, particularly by addressing issues of affordability and availability.”
He said, “In particular, it identified some key staple foods and the factors that were most likely driving high food prices in some parts of the country, despite bumper harvests at many farms.

“Some of the factors identified in this regard include: the poor state of rural infrastructure like roads; multiple revenue collecting points on the highways; and inadequacy of distribution networks-all of
which contribute, among other things to high transportation costs.

“Against this background, the Task Force felt that government could most usefully intervene by resolving such bottlenecks. It also felt it important to clarify that the
assignment of the Task Force is not about government intervening directly in the
market for staple foods either though purchases or price fixing.

“The Task Force will be coordinating various MDAs and working closely with the private sector to explore ways and means
of overcoming some of the supply
bottlenecks in the short term, while also reinforcing on-going medium and long- term solutions including improving supplies and providing better storage.
“A more technical sub-group of the Task Force is now drawing up a draft plan of action for further consideration.”

Naija Foodie Update


The Federal Government said it will back plans by the UN World Food Programme (UN –WFP) to create a food hub in the country.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning said this in a statement signed by Salisu Haiba, Assistant Director (Press) in the ministry on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr. Ahmed said this while responding to the presentation made by the Executive Director of UN-WFP, Ertharin Cousin, on the
organisation’s plans and activities in Nigeria during a visit to her office in Abuja.

The minister said that the plan for food hub in Nigeria as presented by the UN body was a good opportunity for business in Nigeria and African region.
She said the hub would provide jobs and increase revenue for farmers in Nigeria as they will have to stock up their food

In addition, she described the expansion of the Cash Based Transfer (CBT) from 160,000 to one million people by the WFP
in 2016 as commendable and

Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said that the country was working frantically to provide
grains for Nigerians and other parts of Africa that have relied on the country for grains.
Mr. Ogbeh also said government was collaborating with research institutions to provide solutions to curb the challenges facing Nigerian products in the market like the toxicity of the products and poor quality.

Earlier, Ms. Cousin disclosed that WFP would establish a food hub in Lagos. The food hub, according to her, will serve vulnerable people and communities in
conflict- affected areas in Nigeria and other African nations.

The official, however, called for
government’s support to scale up food production in the country and also for export to other parts of Africa, as well as improve standard of food supplements.
She also commended the WFP working relationship with Nigeria which she said, Nigeria among others, is leading in providing support to the organisation’s

The UN Chief said that the organisation had assisted over one million Nigerians in conflict- affected zones in the north-east
of the country.
She said that they were assisted through cash-based transfers, in-kind food assistance and specialised nutritious food

Ms. Cousin said that the organisation would scale up the assistance to 1.3 million people, expanding to new areas. (NAN)