Somewhere in the North Central part of Nigeria, you would find a man, whom locals say is Chinese. He might as well be from Japan, Vietnam, or any of the other Asian countries. Who knows? He doesn’t understand a word of the local language; neither does he understand pidgin or the English language. The man from “China” however understands one language – MONEY. He has come from “China” with love. Definitely not love for the locales, or love for Africa. But Love for what he knows how to do best; love for the results he gets.
On land, a little less than a hectare, our friend from “China” produces high value agricultural products like tomatoes, cucumber, celery, cauliflower, spring onions, etc. Not to feed some family of four though, or to sell off to Mallam Inuwa down the road. He understands the bigger picture; after all he didn’t come all the way to indulge.
Our man has established a supply network, delivering his products to high end markets outside of his location. He may not understand a word of the languages spoken but he sure understands how to create a network that can deliver on the bottom line.
A cursory look at his products reveals he has identified a segment of the market he is appealing to. This segment could be the growing number of Asian expatriates in Nigeria. The segment could be Abuja’s, Lagos’ or Port Harcourt’s growing middle class with increasing purchasing power parity.
Regardless of the segment he is appealing to, this Chinese farmer in Nigeria speaks a number of realities:
- Opportunities abound with high value commodities. Search them out.
- You don’t need a huge expanse of land to start with. Just get the right high yielding seeds; understand the best horticultural practices in relation to that commodity.
- It’s the market. Understand the market.