Tuesday, 20 September 2016

THE NEED FOR EXPORTATION OF LOCAL PALM WINE FROM NIGERIA

Folks, it is a truism that Nigeria is a country blessed with so many natural and agricultural resources. We are so much blessed that we seem to have these resources in excess as compared to almost all the countries in the African continent. Whether we’re using these resources to our advantage or not is a different ball game entirely.

We, at Tectono Business Review, recently stumbled on United Nation World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) website to check out some of the programmes it has lined up for the last quarter of the year. In the coming months, the apex tourism body will be organizing a Wine Tourism Conference in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration.

The press release on its website stated: “Georgia’s unique winemaking traditions date back 8,000 years and are considered by UNESCO as intangible heritage, making the country an ideal host for the Global Conference on Wine Tourism. The country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists and its development of tourism products, branding and marketing, combine to present an excellent platform for sharing best practices, experience and knowledge.”

Let us ask this question. Which wine is better than our locally tapped palm wine? If you have ever been served palm wine in any part of Nigeria especially the western and the eastern regions, you would be able to testify that nothing beats the taste of our freshly tapped unadulterated palm wine. On the other hand, what beats our imagination is the fact that we’re not doing anything grand with this quintessential alcoholic beverage beyond just consuming it locally and may be a few exportations.

We can still do so much more. And surprisingly, there is a huge market for this natural product abroad. The revenue generated every year locally is nothing compared to what we can earn as a country if we intensify exportation of this product. The product has the potential of generating millions of dollars every year if done properly and supported with the necessary marketing efforts. In order to galvanize the exportation of the local palm wine, Tectono Business Review along with some international trade scholars and professionals with many years of practical experience have packaged a book that will help budding exporters to avoid being defrauded in the course of export business.  It teaches export operations, export management, export documentations, methods of payment is export business, among others. It is a compilation on all the steps palm wine exporters should follow from the point of packaging the palm wine to the point of payment. To read it, click:

It is a course of wisdom to create festivals or conferences that will bring tourists from other countries to come into our country, considering the fact that we’re at a point where growing our hospitality and tourism industry is especially important. Organizing an annual Palm Wine Festival, or something of that sort will boost the inflow of tourists into our country which will directly contribute to the economy. For instance, more jobs will be created, more hotels will experience increase in patronage, airlines will make more sales and several other attendant benefits. A typical festival will need about three to six months to plan and will gulp between N4m – N10m. But the ROI will likely triple the expenditure and once this becomes a yearly event, an additional source of income will definitely emerge.

Beyond hosting a palm wine festival or conference or whatever nomenclature we eventually come up with, I think it’s also important for public private partnership to promote, on a large scale, the exportation of unadulterated palm wine to neighbouring countries and major European countries. We stand to benefit immensely from its export.

We only need to get the packaging right and voila, the orders will start coming in. However, before we start intensifying commercialization of this product, local promoters should make conscious effort to get as many Nigerians as possible to start making demands. Thankfully, e-commerce has changed the way everything is done. It’s not improbable for a seller to open a platform on any of the online marketplaces and support it with appropriate publicity. We will go beyond local consumption to selling to other continents. But first, we need to grow local demands for the product.

The journey to building our country to Africa’s number one tourist destination is filled with many road bumps. But every step we take should always be in the right direction. Else, things might just fall apart.