Comfort Aruosa-Osemwingie, founder/CEO at DealRoom Nigeria, has revealed key investment opportunities in the country’s coffee and tea value chain.
They are local consumption expansion, export potential, technology adoption, specialty coffee production and sustainable initiative.
Speaking at the 2023 World coffee and tea expo hosted by the West African Specialty Coffee Association (WASCA) on Tuesday, Aruosa-Osemwingie, said the opportunities will help businesses better position themselves for investments.
“This will set businesses on a good note regarding the kind of proposals that can be packaged/pitched to investors,” she said.
She added that one of the main reasons why people don’t get funding is the quality of what they’re looking to export.
“In the area of the local market, opportunities exist in expanding local consumption (the retail market in Nigeria), and real investors will buy into the idea. We still have just about 40 percent or less of Nigerians that actually consume coffee, so we’re not doing so well.”
According to Aruosa-Osemwingie, global investment opportunities exist in export, and since standardisation has been a challenge with Nigerian foods, this is where the youths come in.
“They can come together to ensure that standard requirements are met and that coffee is packaged for exports. Young people are better positioned to do that than the older smallholder farmers because they can understand better how it works, and quickly too.”
She said the young people could see to its enforcement for technology adoption.
Speaking about speciality coffee production, she explained that it will provide an opportunity for premium pricing and entering into niche markets. “Aside from just instant coffee, a thousand other things can be done with coffee.”
She also noted that sustainable initiatives, which environmentally friendly farming practices will drive, also align with the circular economy and regenerative practices that the Association upholds.
She tasked players in the value chain on investor readiness, saying that it involved getting one’s business model right, researching and testing it.
Others are knowing the market, the person who will pay the money being put on the product, getting documentation rights, getting figures right, getting legal requirements right and getting to the right investor.
“Don’t hire a scattered accountant, or a shattered accountant, get a smart finance person to look at your numbers,” she said.
A recent report by Fitch Solutions projects consumer coffee spending in Nigeria to reach $286.8 million in 2023, making it one of the top five coffee markets to watch.
It said consumer spending via retail on coffee in Nigeria is forecasted to increase by an annual average of 9.3 per cent over the medium term, with spending levels increasing from $1 on average per capita in 2019 to $1.3 in 2023.
The expo is to unite coffee and tea enthusiasts, professionals, and industry leaders from around the globe, said Larry Segun-Lean, WASCA president
“At its core lies the exploration of circular economy principles and regenerative agricultural practices, a transformative endeavour to secure a sustainable future for our industry,” he added.