[Interview] David Galadima, Founder, Graemoh Foods, Nigeria
Passionate about sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and food security in Africa, David Galadima is the Founder of fast growing agriculture and processing company, Graemoh Foods, operating out of the northern state of Kaduna, Nigeria.
Could you tell us about your company?
Graemoh Foods is an agriculture and agro-processing company headquartered in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It was founded in 2016 and our products include brown rice, fresh and smoked catfish, pepper powder and natural honey. The company was founded to meet the demand for healthy and quality foods in Nigeria and we achieve this by constantly improving our production processes in ways that are in line with global best practices and are sustainable. This influences every decision we take in the organization. Due to our track record and years of experience in the agriculture space, we provide advisory services to various businesses on a wide range of issues as well as provide processing services. In recognition of our impact in agriculture and entrepreneurship, we have received a number of awards and been part of several local and international training programs.
What is Graemoh Foods' growth strategy for 2023?
Nigeria is a large market for all our products and we definitely want to increase our presence and market share in 2023. One way we intend to achieve these is by greatly improving our product distribution channels to ensure that our products get to the consumers on time and in a cost-effective manner. We also want to begin the sale of our products in other African countries and we want to leverage on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to achieve that. We have seen an increase in demand for our products and this in turn has increased our demand for raw materials. In 2023, we will work much closer with local producers of our raw materials to ensure regular supply and consistent quality.
What are your long term ambitions as a food producer in Nigeria?
One long term ambition of ours is for our brand to become a household name in Nigeria. We intend to achieve this by ensuring consistency in the quality of our products and making them widely available to our customers. We also want to see our products sold in major stores in Africa, Europe and North America. Another aspiration of ours is to create a sustainable business model that creates positive impact in our communities, reduces costs, increases revenue and is environmentally friendly.
How do you perceive the 2023 elections will impact local business and the economy, if at all?
Since the 2023 elections will bring in new individuals at the national and state levels, most local businesses will hold off taking major decisions until the new government is sworn in. One reason for this delay is to know the economic policy direction the new government will take and how to appropriately respond to it. This uncertainty has led to limited investment and spending by many local companies. The introduction of the redesigned Naira notes to curb vote buying has limited the availability of cash and this in turn has affected the economy because a lot of business transactions in Nigeria are still cash-based. I hope that the government will quickly find a way to ease this pressure on local business owners.
What government policies can be implemented for companies like yours to thrive in Nigeria?
The government can introduce monetary policies such as reducing interest rates to encourage borrowing especially by micro and small businesses. The government could also give tax incentives to companies to encourage them. Another challenge faced by businesses in Nigeria is multiple taxation and this has to be addressed for companies to take off the ground. Policies that address infrastructural deficits in the economy are also a way forward. The electricity infrastructure in Nigeria is quite poor and this has led to the national grid collapsing quite often in recent years in addition to epileptic power supply. This electricity infrastructure deficit has made running a business in Nigeria very difficult and expensive because businesses now have to look for alternative ways to meet their power needs, often come at a significant cost. The government should come up with a policy that will ensure uninterrupted power supply especially around the generation, transmission and distribution of power.
How will Africa as a whole develop as a knowledge economy in 2023 and how can companies contribute?
70% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is made up of people below 30 years of age and this presents a great opportunity to develop a knowledge economy. Africa can become just that by investing heavily in the provision of quality education to this demographic. There should also be a strong focus on IT so that our continent is not left out of the digital world. In this regard, investment in electricity, broadband connections and other IT infrastructure and equipment is necessary. A knowledge economy is constantly evolving and this is fueled by innovation. Africans should be encouraged to be innovative and produce local and sustainable solutions to their challenges. Government policies will go a long way in encouraging innovation.
What are the opportunities for Agribusiness and Agritech in Africa in 2023?
When most people think of agribusiness, they think mainly of production and processing. However a lot of opportunities abound along the various agriculture value chains. Some include insurance, haulage and logistics, cold room storage, fabrication and maintenance of agriculture equipment and sale of packaging materials. Opportunities in agritech include digital aggregation of suppliers of raw materials, the use of drones for surveying and spraying of farms, online sale and distribution of agricultural products and equipment to mention but a few.