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Becoming a millionaire farmer: Olam foods model.


You can become a millionaire farmer by focusing on crops with export potential. Export of non-oil products is a very profitable business especially with the Naira falling significantly against major currencies of the world. A company that has made significant breakthrough in agriculture is Olam. The article reviews their business model thereby offering insights to those who want to venture into agriculture.

Olam International, a global trader and processor of agricultural commodities, started operations in 1989. Their first export was raw cashew nuts to India. Today, the company is a global giant in agricultural commodities production, food processing and marketing.


I have articulated below 3 lessons from Olam food on how to start an export business in Nigeria.

  1. Start small, focusing on exporting raw agricultural products: It is easier to start by exporting basic agricultural products like Cashew, Cassava flour, Yam flour, Cocoa among others. All you need is to identify the markets, understand exporting requirements and then source and prepare these products for export. You don’t necessarily have to be producing these commodities yourself. You basically have to source the commodities from local producers. After that, you then package and transport products to the receiving countries. It might be worthwhile to focus on few selected produce in the beginning. Olam started by exporting raw cashew to India in 1989.
  2. Add value to your products: After mastering your supply chain for exporting raw produce, begin to add value to your product converting them to semi-processed food such as yam flour, or process garri for example. Such semi-processed products can then be exported for higher value and also sold domestically. Such value-adding processing requires very little machinery and capital.
Olam foods also processed food products such as Tasty Tom tomato paste and Cherie Noodles. which she sells across the African and international market.
  3. Expand into other African countries: Leveraging learnings from your base country, as a way of scaling your operations and earnings. This would allow to increase volume of commodities that you export to markets in Europe and America.

I hope that basic information provided above would spur you to seriously consider export business in 2016. If you need additional information on export business, you may want to contact Nigeria Export Promotion Council. We would like to know if this article was of benefit to you.


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