The huge trade in smoked-dried fish is a consequence of the growing demand by the increasing number of Africans living in the diaspora. The US and Europe remain the major destinations for Africans who venture abroad. As a result of this transcontinental migration, and a growing appreciation for African flavours and food, the demand for dried and smoked fish appears to be growing by day.
According to a study sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the quantity of dried and smoked catfish, tilapia and other types of fish exported from West Africa to the United Kingdom was estimated at over 500 tonnes per year; with a retail value of nearly $20 million. Nigeria alone exports about five tonnes of smoked fish per month (via airfreight). Other major exporting countries are Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon. However, with stricter regulations on food imported into the US and Europe, Africans are finding it difficult to exploit the million-dollar foreign market for smoked and dried fish. But the United States FDA, working in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, has made things easy for Nigerian export and as a result, have received samples of fish from the processing plants of the farmers for laboratory testing and have certified the product fit for export to the US with FDA Food Facility Registration number.
Mr Tunde Sanni, owner of Tee Ess Farms, one of the processors now producing smoked fish for the US market, now has FDA Food Facility Registration N0: 1248378216. According to him, exporters of Nigerian foods now buy smoked fish from his farm and export to the United States and there has been no problems doing that. He said they also smoke fish for other fish farmers according to the international standards and they can package the fish with their own label.
The market is large both in USA and Europe even within the country; farmers and processors have barely met the local demand for smoked fish of international standards as these branded and packaged fish sell like hot cakes in high-brow shops within the country. You don’t have to own a fish pond before you start fish processing and packaging for both international and local market. You can always buy from farmers, four to five months old fish and processes and package it for export or local market using cabinet dryer.
How To Get Buyers
Register with an Export Promotion agency: The traditional and most popular place to start your quest to find buyers are to register with an Export Promotion Council. They are set up by governments to develop and promote export trade in the country. Their major objective is to increase the amount of the country’s exports by addressing challenges, obstacles and bottlenecks faced by exporters and producers. They usually provide capital (in the form of grants), make international market information available and help to link exporters to potential international buyers. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has an Export Expansion Grant Scheme which provides incentives to local exporters to grow their businesses and foreign exchange earnings.
Join a local trade organisation: Joining a trade organisation can be a very good way to gain an understanding of the dried fish export market and the tricks of the trade.
Register with online marketplaces: Online marketplaces like Alibaba.com and Tradekey.com are some of the most popular platforms to meet buyers and sellers on the international markets.
Open an online store: The internet has totally changed the way business is done.
Word of mouth: As outdated as it may sound in today’s world, word-of-mouth advertising still works and remains a great way to find potential customers.
Company registration with CAC and Export promotion council
oDryer(cabinet dryer/ kiln )
oBusiness and brand name
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Agbaji chinedu.L Agribusiness Consultant.08035004617