Bitter (Garcinia) kola is in
great demand in
Processing and Packaging
In the international market, bitter kola is always required in two forms, fresh or dried. However, most importers (or buyers) always want them dried. The drying must be done in a way that the colour and taste is not affected. Drying of bitter kola is done in three ways: sun drying, natural drying, mechanical drying (using drying machines). Sun drying is the popular method in our villages but products for international market must not be dried in the sun. Natural drying method is recommended. If it is allowed to dry naturally, the butterish colour of the product will not be affected. The purpose of drying is to reduce the moisture content. Drying by machines is also recommendable. The drying machines are locally fabricated and available at affordable prices, imported machines also exist at higher prices. Packaging of the products does not require a standard packaging method. The quantity of products to be exported at a point in time determines the packaging method. However, any prospective exporter can use the type of bag used in packaging rice.
Quality Control and Certification
The exporter must ensure good quality product. The product therefore must be free of foreign matters likes stones, sand, dirt, nylon, paper, etc. These will add unnecessary weight as well as contaminate the product. For the exportable product to achieve standard in terms of quality and packaging at the international market, the following parameters must be observed: commodities (the product) must be properly dried to avoid moldness, free from extraneous matters, must not be adulterated. Packaged in good packaging material. It must be of standard weight. It must be graded, marked and sealed. Must be free from pest infestation. Must pass FPIS test analysis so as to meet international accepted quality standard. Also Nafdac test analysis must be scaled.
Currently a kg of bitter kola commands an international market price of $17, and the local price is about N200 per kg. In making your export pricing as regard any enquiry that you may receive from prospective buyers, the following steps must be carefully considered: analyse the enquiry carefully, note what the customer asked for CIF or FOB, delivery time and payment terms, etc.
Project Implementation/Cost Estimates
The project can be carried out on a small or large scale basis. A capital base of N100,000 is enough to start this business on a small scale. Raising this money could be by personal savings of the investor, borrowing from friends and relations, assistance from SMEDAN, loans from Microfinance banks, and/or other feasible sources. The viability of this project will ensure that the account of money raised in funding this project can be generated within two years of operation after all operational expenses are met.
The investor is advised to carryout a cost benefit analysis of this project through a feasibility study before implementation. The writer can be approached for further information and/or preparation of a detailed and bankable feasibility report.