This article gives you key nuggets of how to write a business plan for Plantain Farming
You can never go wrong with a business that deals on consumables. People eat plantain a lot. The only problem with this business is that it is rather climate selective hence cannot be successfully run in every part of the world. Plantain does not flourish in either too hot or too cold weather.
The best locations for plantain farm business in Nigeria are states like Rivers, Delta, Osun, Ogun, and Ekiti states. The most suitable weather or climate for this business is 26-30 degree Celsius. The moment you get started though, it’s like a stream of wealth since plantain has a rapid growth and reproduction rate.
Like every other business, it’s not advisable to go in blind. You need to conduct an extensive research before you commence this business. Consider the following;
It’s best to have a suitable land on ground. A minimum of 2 hectares of land with the right soil composition for growing plantain is your best bet.
You need to have grounded knowledge of this business before you go into it. You need to know the right soil composition, which breed of suckers to purchase, the cycle of plantain farming and the possible challenges.
In most cases when the soil composition is not right, you might need to adjust the pH value of the land. Also, you may need to employ hands to dig holes where the plantain suckers will be planted. Plantain suckers are like the plantain seeds.
You need to have a plan for sourcing suckers. There should be away you get supply of a large quantity of suckers. This routine will only re-occur in the next 2-3 decades as the suckers supplied will be able to last that long. You also need to know the right breed to go for.
There are so many things you require help with when running a plantain farm business. You need help with; clearing the land and boring holes for planting the plantain, watering the farm, weeding the farm, monitoring progress and harvesting the plantain. These are not all simple tasks that you can handle on your own. They require assistance and that assistance could come in form of hired laborers; unless your budget can handle a machine operated farm.
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You need to have a working marketing strategy at hand way before you start your business. There are options available to you; food processing companies or retailers. the best way to have maximize profits in this business is to build a great network and have a practical marketing strategy.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t go into this line of business. It is a very profitable business. In fact, in a matter of 1-2 years you might find yourself diversifying into food processing thereby making more money. When you’ve considered all this, you can then make a comprehensive business plan that states;
- your vision/mission statement
- your financial status
- your marketing strategies
- your expansion strategies
- your fund-raising plans and all that.
Go ahead and get started.
How MSMEs can get easy access to finance
MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness.
MSMEs are considered the backbone of the Nigerian economy. In 2019, they made up 90% of all registered businesses, contributed more than 50% of the country’s nominal GDP, and employ 84% of its labour force. Despite this, MSMEs were the recipients of less than 5% of all credit granted by the banking industry.
One reason for this is self-selection by MSME owners. Many MSMEs refuse to apply for loans from banks due to a fear of rejection and a belief that banks charge exorbitant fees and request hefty collateral before giving loans to MSMEs. Now more than ever, in this era of cashflow-based lending and low-interest rates, this harmful myth is costing businesses access to finance that they need to scale.
Another reason is the MSMEs’ lack of loan readiness. Unlike large companies, small business owners do not prepare themselves before applying for loans. This causes them to make many mistakes that discourage banks from lending to them due to a fear of non-repayment.
In order to overcome this hurdle and join large businesses in taking advantage of the low-interest climate, MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness:
1. Maintain financial records – Research shows that 69% of MSMEs in Nigeria do not keep detailed financial records. As a business owner, you must ensure that funds pass through your business account. Your business’s financial records as reflected in your bank statement will help your bank determine your repayment capacity. This is important, whether you want a collateral-free or collateral-based loan.
2. Use narrations for transfer into personal accounts – Again, always use your business account for business funds. However, if funds must be paid into your personal account for any reason, then ensure that those payments have a narration that reflects the purpose of the payment. For example, Two shirts purchased. This helps isolate business funds from personal when computing your turnover in order to determine your loan amount and repayment capacity.
3. Know what you want – Always know exactly how much you want and what you want it for. If your account officer asks you how much you want and you say “any amount you can give me”, they automatically assume you have no plan for the money or a plan for repayment. Before approaching your bank, determine how much you need and how much you can repay per month, using your monthly income.
4. Have a repayment plan – Always have a plan for repayment. Know how much you can afford to part with per month. Note however that your repayment plan might not align with that of the bank. Banks prefer not to take more than 33% of your monthly income in loan repayments, so your loan repayment period will probably be dependent on how much you can pay per month. Regardless, a well-thought-out repayment plan will build confidence in your repayment ability.
5. Engage your account officer– It is important to have an engagement with your account officer before applying for the loan. Instead of just writing a loan application letter to the bank and waiting for a response. Armed with your financial statement and your knowledge of how much you need and for how long, visit your account officer and have them work with you in getting your loan.
Ese Atakpu is a writer and banker.
AFEX raises $50 million to Finance Agri-SMEs in Nigeria
The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the agric sector.
AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a private commodities exchange company, has announced the first Warehouse Receipt Backed Commercial Paper in Africa. The paper has tech-enabled operations and a 24-hour fast cash turnaround for borrowers.
This was disclosed by AFEX in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday.
The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the Nigerian agricultural sector with a commodity-backed instrument – for the first time.
Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX, stated, “The AFEX financing deal will help eradicate the high cost of procurement incurred by processors by deploying a discounted value of a warehouse receipt distributed among five leading players in the Food and Beverage, Trading Poultry and Animal Feed segments in Nigeria.
“The receiving companies are top 10 players in their respective segments. They have now been enabled access to a tool for managing price volatility, enabling up to 30% direct savings on prices.
“With our vision to reach a cumulative total of over $5 Billion in investment to the agriculture sector over the next five years, this financing deal is right on track to achieve this goal.’’
He added that as AFEX move towards building a derivatives market in Africa, “we want to be able to reduce exposure to price risk for stakeholders, by enabling them to hedge their positions and trade in commodity derivatives.”
Why it matters
- The warehouse receipts, which can then be transferred from commodities to a financial asset and listed under the borrower’s portfolio on the AFEX trading platform, will create a sustainable funding structure and address underfunding in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
- With the warehouse receipt system linked to financiers, the system allows financiers value and marks the commodities’ price to market on a real-time basis.
What you should know
- AFEX’s mission is to provide low-risk working capital facility for stakeholders in the Agro sector, in a way that is transparent and has a very high viable investment return.
- As a licensed commodities exchange and warehouse receipt system operator, it deploys a warehouse receipt system and collateral management infrastructure to increase market confidence for both lenders and borrower.
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