- Promoting Sweet Potato Business
The Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) is exploring a range of agro produce as part of a strategy to expand exports and boost domestic production.
It believes there is high demand for sweet potato, melon, mango, pineapple, yam, pepper, pumpkin, herbs and spices.
Specifically, a project to promote sweet potato flour to serve as cassava substitute is in the offing.
Sweet potato has many uses. Not only can it be grown as a food substitute for cassava, it can also serve as a potential source of raw materials for industrial uses and food delicacies.
In addition, it can be processed into feeds, flour, starch, and other products for local and export markets.
FACAN National President Dr. Victor Iyama, noted that sweet potato is a nutritious vegetable with a lot of potential.
Apart from this, he noted that there are business opportunities along the sweet potato value chain; from planting to marketing and processing of the crop.
In view of this, he said the association would promote sweet potatoes processing into flour that would be consumed like garri in homes and restaurants.
He explained that a lot of Nigerians would be trained on how to process sweet potatoes into flour and a wide variety of value-added offerings for the retail market to enable them start new business along the value chain.
One advantage that sweet potato provides for the youth considering agro business, according to him, is that it can be harvested within four months. Secondly, startup capital can be as low as N250,000.
As Nigerians are encouraged to cut sugar intake and eat more fibre and antioxidants, he said sweet potato is full of vitamins.
To move this project forward, Iyama said the association would partner Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), which has promised to provide its members with special machines that can process sweet potatoes into flour.
Working with Iyama in the campaign is the National President, Potato Farmers Association Of Nigeria (POFAN), Hon Bayo Agboola, who wants the public to take advantage of sweet potatoes’ rich vitamins which cure vitamin A deficiency diseases.
Besides being rich in Vitamin A content, he noted that sweet potato could help in fighting obesity.
Agboola, also the Southwest coordinator of FACAN, explained that sweet potato production is financially viable, adding that one could go into commercial production of tubers, vines, storage technologies and snack production.
With small scale processing facilities, he believes a lot of entrepreneurs can process sweet potato into products that can be used in sauces, vegetable/fruit juices, among others.
He explained that it could be grown in various soils – from heavy to sandy. However, it thrives best in sandy loam soils rich in organic matter in areas with uniform rainfall and good drainage.
He explained that the crop could be planted throughout the year but the ideal planting time for best varieties was at the onset of the rainy season or immediately after the rainy season when soil is still moist.
On the whole, according to him, sweet potato is relatively cheap for households.
Meanwhile, the demand for sweet potatoes has increased country wide with more entrepreneurs venturing into the business.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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