On the 11th of July 2019, the members of staff of Afrimash Company Limited were present at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA Ibadan for an exhibition on Agro-Food and networking opportunities with delegates. This Dutch Event was part of the activities lined up for the visiting Trade Delegation from the Netherlands to Nigeria which saw similar exhibitions, seminars and activities across Abuja, Lagos, and Ibadan. It was indicated to help Nigerian companies leverage on the Dutch experience in agriculture and sustainable cities.
In 2018, the Dutch and Nigerian governments agreed to strengthen mutual economic cooperation in the agro-food sector. Such a partnership was aimed at the sustainable and inclusive growth of respective economies. It is worthy of note that The Netherlands is Nigeria’s 4th largest importing partner and 3rd largest exporting partner.
In lieu of this, The Trade mission for 2019, headed by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; Sigrid Kaag was necessitated to improve the entire value chain from farm-to-fork and make a significant contribution by offering innovative solutions for the growing population. This mission saw already resident companies as well as new prospects explore opportunities with local representatives, expand their network as well as review and evaluate the Nigerian market for profitability.
Afrimash Company Limited was represented by the Co-founder and Operations Manager, Dr.Ayoade Oyedotun; Head of Admin, Finance and Human Resources, Dr. Charles Nwishienyi (who also oversees the Partner Experience program); and the Head of Corporate Sales, Miss Damilola Akinloye. The Expo which was held at the Conference lobby at IITA saw quite a number of Dutch and indigenous companies present to exchange knowledge on agriculture, soil fertility, intensive farming, trading expertise, etc.
The event started with arrivals of the delegates, on-site confirmation and collection of registration materials and souvenirs. We then proceeded to the exhibition ground and the breakout sessions. We ran into a number of colleagues and existing partners.ICRA, an international non-profit service provider involved in solving complex agri-food issues by connecting local-level stakeholders to create trust and mutual understanding as to the basis for doing business. ICRA (well represented by Mr.Gieljan Neijen-Business Development Manager and Dr.Idowu Gbenga-the Nigerian country representative) and Afrimash explored opportunities for agricultural extension services across different locations through the use of online media as well as on-site coaches to facilitate training and ensure consistent sourcing of inputs for small scale farmers.
Other companies, as well as individuals we networked with, were: Stihl (equipment provider), Mr. Frederick Schreurs (CEO: Business Incubation Platform at IITA), Mr. Tunde Amole, a livestock scientist and country representative of the International Livestock Research Institute, Adriaen Sligcher of Pas Reform-a single-source supplier of integrated hatchery solutions, Salvador Roig of Terranauta-specialised in the transport of bio-ideas, special fertilizers and soil regenerative amendments, Mr.Saheed Okuboyejo of Solar Creed, a company involved in providing solar solutions for farmers, Peter Meijer of Single Spark with a unique online application for calculating feed based on available raw materials, Mr. Ron Van Den Berg of Chore-Time, a global manufacturer of poultry equipment and solutions for intensive livestock farming, Mr.Ogedengbe Olubukola of HarvestField Industries Limited (Aflasafe) among many others.
In conclusion, participation in this event enabled us to meet with potential business partners, grow our international network, and gain better ideas and information of market opportunities as well as raising our profile as an emerging marketplace in Africa.
At the close of the exhibition, we were treated to a buffet service for all delegates. The event ended on a merry note and we look forward to exploring our new partnerships and providing more value for our customers and clients.