The GEMS4 micro retailing initiative is an access to markets intervention that aims to increase incomes and provide employment for poor micro-retailers through a wholesale buying group model. The initiative involves working with apex organizations to create buyer groups, who aggregate purchasing power to order stock collectively, thus negotiating lower wholesale prices from suppliers of fast moving consumer goods. This results in an increase in the sales margins for many micro-retailers who previously, could not access such markets due to economies of scale and scope.
Initiative partners include: Poor women and youth, Widows Multipurpose Development Association, Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP), Savannah Resource, Abantu for Development, Abuja cooperative society, Fareast Mercantile, SIMBA Solar Group, PRIMLAKS Group, Fortis MFB, LAPO Microfinance Bank, Jaiz Bank and May and Baker.
An Access to markets initiative, the Brand awareness for Nigerian Rice initiative is working to increase the market share of Nigerian rice by raising awareness of the availability and quality of Nigerian rice through the branding and marketing of high quality Nigerian milled rice.
Urban consumers in Nigeria seldom buy local rice because in comparison to Indian or Thai rice, Nigerian rice is perceived to be low quality product. At least 90% of locally grown rice is not supplied to large commercial mills but is milled by smaller cottage mills, who produce an inferior finished product, thus it is generally purchased by lower income peri-urban and rural customers.
Over the years, poor farmers have worked to improve the quality of locally grown paddy and a need exists to increase the amount of local paddy being processed by larger commercial mills, which in turn will improve the quality of the finished rice. The opportunity arises to raise the profile and create demand for locally grown Nigerian rice through improved packaging solutions that strengthen brand awareness.
By improving product packaging sizes, distribution and marketing of rice in pilot states, this will create jobs and result in increased incomes for local farmers. It will also ensure higher trading margins for commercial rice mills, rice retailers and micro distributors .
Initiative Partners: UMZA Rice mill, Onyx Rice mill, FME Rice distributor, MULAD Rice distributor Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO).
The Linking rice farmers to commercial mills initiative is being implemented to facilitate the channelling of locally grown rice paddy to large commercial mills to enable rice farmers earn more for their paddy and to help commercial rice mills diversify from importing foreign brown rice at premium rates.
Large commercial mills depend predominantly on imported brown rice for processing and they supply the higher income, higher margin, but smaller consumer market. It is uncommon to find Nigerian rice being sold in higher value urban markets where imported rice is the preference.
The linking tomato farmers to processing plants initiative, seeks to increase access to markets for tomato farmers and dealers, predominantly in Northern Nigeria. The focus is on creating more business choices for farmers by facilitating business linkages between small scale tomato farmers and tomato processing plants to enable them serve each other on a commercial basis. It also involves linking the processing plants to markets through our micro distribution and micro retailing initiatives.
Initiative Partners include: Fresh Fruit Vegetable Community Dealers Association of Nigeria (FVCDAN); Pampaida chilli-pepper cluster; Tubali Development Initiative; Bank of Agriculture; Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ikara Foods Kaduna; Dansa Holdings; Tomato Jos.
Good Handling Practices
This initiative sits within the access to skills intervention and builds the capacity of perishable produce market actors: farmers, farm hands, aggregators, dealers and traders to properly handle, package and protect their produce in a way that ensures quality, extends shelf-life and preserves sales value. The practice of GHP ensures incomes increase across the value chain, as good quality produce attracts higher retail prices and financial losses from produce damage is prevented. This initiative also encourages the packaging of produce in hardier packaging than cylindrical raffia baskets and advocates the establishment of packing houses where GHP can be practiced. The objective is to increase skills to enable farmers and traders preserve produce quality and increase incomes across the perishable produce value chain.
Initiative Partners include: Fruit and Vegetable Dealers Community Development Association of Nigeria (FVDCDAN); Pampida chilli pepper cluster; Tubali Development Initiative; Bank of Agriculture; Skye Bank; Agricultural Development Project (ADP); Ikara Tomato Processing Plant Kaduna; Dansa Foods Kano; Long Cottage Agro Ventures Limited Ogun ; Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Limited Nasarawa.
Modern supermarkets and retail outlets currently offer more attractive rates for hygienic well packaged tomatoes. Small scale producers could become suppliers to these new retailers by producing retail-ready products. They are currently excluded from these markets due to a lack of business linkages, poor technical skill and a lack of access to modern packaging and weighing equipment. This initiative facilitates linkages and builds producers capacity to handle their produce in a way extends their shelf-life, differentiates their quality and justifies a price premium at the retail point of sale.
Banking Service Provision For Traders In Traditional Markets
The Banking service provision for traders in wet and traditional markets initiative facilitates an agency banking service focused specifically on traditional markets, and in conjunction with a selection of commercial banks.
An estimated 17 million low income small scale traders and retailers operate purely cash based businesses, collectively turning over NGN 20 trillion annually. Poor access to convenient banking and payment solutions, increases transaction costs, reduces margins, and weakens competitiveness.
The initiative proffers solutions to the lack of appropriate solutions on the part of financial service providers and a lack of awareness of the few solutions that are available on the part of potential service users. The commercial incentive for the Banks is the chance to tap into the previously poorly serviced segment of the society that has the potential to give them access to 20 Trillion NGN and a potential user base of 17 Million.
This solution is helping traders reduce their cost of doing business and thereby increase incomes it is also providing jobs for banking service provision Super Agents and Sub Agents in the markets.
Initiative Partners include: Stanbic IBTC Bank, Zenith Bank, Fortis Mobile Money, Ready Cash, Microleverage and Ahmbilinks Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Community Development Association of Nigeria (FFVCDAN).
Similar to the Banking service provision for traders in wet and traditional markets initiative, this initiative facilitates an agency banking service focused specifically on traders operating in Retail clusters, and in conjunction with a selection of commercial banks.
The initiative proffers solutions to the lack of appropriate solutions on the part of financial service providers and a lack of awareness of the few solutions that are available on the part of potential service users in retail cluster markets. This solution is helping traders reduce their cost of doing business and thereby increase incomes it is also providing jobs for banking service provision Super Agents and Sub Agents in the markets.
Initiative Partners include: Heritage Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Diamond Bank.
The GEMS4 Feedlot Initiative is designed to provide investors with technical assistance and access to skills to establish animal feedlots and implement a feed finishing business model. This new livestock production system is based on the feed finishing of younger cattle to yield high quality beef. The initiative involves providing linkages between Feedlot operators, Veterinary service providers and Modern retail and fast-food chains in order to increase efficiency and competitiveness in the currently underdeveloped red meat industry.
A Feedlot is an animal feeding operation used for finishing livestock, prior to slaughter. Feedlot diets are high in protein and micronutrients, which encourages the growth of muscle mass and the deposition of fat to produce beef with flavour and tenderness that’s desirable to consumers. Cattle typically gain 20-25% over entry weight within 90 days. Once cattle are fattened up to their finished weight, they are transported to a slaughterhouse and the meat is sold as premium beef in higher end markets, such as Shoprite. On the average, net margins are 16-21% for cattle and 18-20% for sheep and goats, which is considerably higher than earnings on traditional pasture fed herd.
Currently, four partners have adopted the Feedlot business model: Amo Farms, GrazingField Ranch, Master Meat and Cattleman. The project is also partnering with retail chain, Shoprite.
The Skin Quality Initiative was introduced by the now completed DFID project, GEMS1: Support to the Meat and Leather Industry.
The GEMS4 Skin Quality Initiative is an access to skills intervention and is focused on improving the capacity of skin dealers to better preserve their product using Skin Preservation Salt (SPS) instead of table salt. The Skin Preservation Salt has been demonstrated to be three times more effective than table salt, as skins remain well preserved for a minimum of three weeks - as opposed to one week when treated with table salt. The initiative will enable traders maintain skin quality and preserve the sale value of their product, leading to increased incomes across the value chain.
Initiative partners include: National Association of Hides and Skin Dealers, National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc.
The Waste Management Initiative is an access to markets intervention, focused on providing employment opportunities for the poor in the waste management value chain. Activities will increase awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of recycling materials such as: aluminium cans, PET bottles, paper, glass and scrap metal. Activities will also bridge the communication gap between recycling firms and waste collectors and provide technical support for Recycling firms to increase operational efficiency and scale.
Initiative Partners include: B.B.Y Limited, Kano, Abantu Development and Recycling Points, Lagos.