Nigerian food producers set to move business online

Through a new ITC programme funded by the Government of Japan, makers of processed food in Imo State, Nigeria will access to new markets through e-commerce.

The new project, Inclusive Digital Entrepreneurship in the Agrifood Sector (IDEAS), launched on 6 November 2023 in Owerri, Imo State.

IDEAS aims to boost e-commerce for small businesses from disadvantaged communities. The project will offer training in technical and managerial skills, strengthening market linkages, and supporting their growth.

With these skills, agrifood producers can expand trade online, creating new business opportunities and jobs.

Nigeria’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Adamu Abdulhamid, attended the launch as the representative of the Minister for Trade and Investment Doris Anite. He urged entrepreneurs and exporters to take advantage of this project to expand their businesses in Imo and nearby states.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Simon Ebegbulem, in his remarks said the project aligns with the state’s commitment to trade, investment and digital skills.

Why the food processing sector?

WTO data shows Nigeria is Africa’s largest food market in Africa, attracting significant investment and a high level of imports. Food and beverages accounts for a major share of the economy and jobs.

But with inflation at a 17-year high of nearly 22%, Nigeria’s food security faces significant challenges. Food spending is forecast to grow by an average of 15.2% from 2022 to 2025, reaching 107.5 trillion naira.

Why e-commerce?

More young people are working in the processed food business, creating diverse foods. But they could earn more with better access to markets. Improving digital literacy, learning about e-commerce, and understanding market demands would lead to stronger growth.

IDEAS provides innovative, effective, and fast-acting solutions tailored to the needs of processed food makers.

What will the IDEAS project offer for the local agrifood producers?

The project empowers the agrifood producers in Owerri with e-commerce skills to trade locally, regionally, and internationally. It covers every aspect of e-commerce, including branding and marketing, market research, digitalization of products, creation and activation of online sales channels, digital marketing and promotion, payment and logistics solutions, and building customer relations online.

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