First Bank reaf­firms com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing agro-econ­omy, pro­motes SME’s in food busi­ness

Business a.m. - - COMPANY -

FOOD FAIRS AND FUN may not read­ily come to mind when First Bank Nige­ria Plc is men­tioned, but for the fourth straight year, the bank has suc­ceeded in re­in­forc­ing its com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing Nige­ria’s agri­cul­tural value chain and pro­mot­ing the vast di­ver­sity of Nige­ria’s cui­sine through its an­nual fi­esta of flavours.

Olisa Adibua, host of tele­vised food show Bukas and Joints, in an in­ter­view with busi­ness a.m de­scribed the 2018 edi­tion of the event as a ver­i­ta­ble plat­form for show­cas­ing Nige­ria’s rich cul­ture “it’s a thing of pride and joy to see how our food has trav­elled around the world. What I have no­ticed is that it gets big­ger each year and the eclec­tic na­ture of the dif­fer­ent ven­dors gives par­tic­i­pants a sam­ple of our world in culi­nary terms.”

An­other ad­van­tage of such ex­po­sure through the fi­esta is the im­prove­ment in the pre­sen­ta­tion of our lo­cal dishes, the host of the weekly se­ries fea­tured in Amer­ica, UK and Africa said. He ob­served that the fi­esta which fos­ters healthy com­pe­ti­tion among the di­verse food ven­dors and agri­cul­tural prod­uct re­tail­ers and whole­salers en­sures that Nige­rian fin­ger foods, main dishes and side dishes are now well pre­sented. “This makes peo­ple be­come more bold or dar­ing in ex­per­i­ment­ing with Nige­rian.”

From pro­duc­tion to con­sump­tion, cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for SMEs in the food sec­tor and pro­mot­ing econ­omy di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion by part­ner­ing with the Event­ful team year after year to host ‘Fi­esta of Flavours’ us­ing it as an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with all our cus­tomers, ir­re­spec­tive of their so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus and age, is the goal for host­ing the event an­nu­ally, Fo­lake AniMu­muney, the group head, mar­ket­ing & cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, First Bank of Nige­ria Lim­ited, said.

Ye­wande Zacheus, CEO of Event­ful and con­vener of the event also stated that the food fairs are held to pro­vide a plat­form for en­trepreneurs in the food and Agric space, es­pe­cially the emerg­ing ones, who don’t have stores and still do on­line re­tail.

“It gives them an op­por­tu­nity to come face to face with their tar­get mar­ket and those who are in­ter­ested in their prod­uct, it also gives us, (event plan­ners) an op­por­tu­nity to show­case our ex­per­tise in or­gan­is­ing large events like this.”

Speak­ing on the eco­nomic im­por­tance of the fi­esta, Zacheus said “the eco­nomic part is to em­power en­trepreneurs. Peo­ple new in the busi­ness are able to scale up their busi­ness while peo­ple al­ready en­trenched and have a grow­ing busi­ness are able to up­scale. Peo­ple are also able to see the ex­tent and the va­ri­ety of the agri­cul­tural value chain.”

Dis­cus­sions with some of the par­tic­i­pants and food ven­dors re­vealed the goals of the event were achieved. A pas­try ven­dor who pre­ferred to be re­ferred to as Omolola said the event has brought about much-needed vis­i­bil­ity.

“It has helped in cre­at­ing more aware­ness for my brand, meet­ing new peo­ple who have never heard of our prod­ucts and cre­at­ing an op­por­tu­nity to de­liver qual­ity first hand to fu­ture clients.”

She said the ex­po­sure is par­tic­u­larly help­ful in boost­ing turnover as the cost of pro­duc­tion is be­ing made high with the un­avail­abil­ity or un­re­li­able sup­ply of ba­sic in­fra­struc­tures such as wa­ter, power, and trans­porta­tion.

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