Nigeria's Billion Dollar Herbs II
So i wrote briefly to introduce this topic and talk mildly on some pertinent issues. But as i began to think more on the potentials, I truly became angrier that the Nigerian government has not done enough to create an infrastructure to support the sector and private investors for not making more investments in this industry.
Everybody knows that Africa is the fastest growing continent and has billionaire dollars opportunities waiting to be snatched up. But do you know that investing in Nigeria's herbal industry is one of lesser known, more valuable investments?. I didn't either until recently when i started reading on Africa's traditional medicine. The opportunity is definitely worth your interest.
There Is A Million Man ArmyThe business of disease curing is a global one worth some huge billions or even trillions. In Africa, where a large percentage of people do not have access to the orthodox medicine. The opportunity of traditional medicine is crystal.
According to WHO there are about 80% of Africans (especially those in the rural areas) who use traditional medicine as primary health care. In Nigeria, that's a 136 million + market, for an industry lacks structure, strong regulation and policies, better educated practitioners, requisite labs and investment.
Its a weirdly high level of patronage.
The resurgent high patronage experienced in the industry is facilitated by many factors as discussed in the first part of this series.
|Herbal medicine as sold in a local market|
Should Babalawos Be The Principal Investors In Nigeria's Traditional Medicine
Before now a typical herbal medicine store was established by a direct descendant of a medicine man. It was usually sited in a very thick bush or sometimes an 'evil forest'. It was a one man business with no formal advertisements except for word of mouth.
And payment was in virgin hens and a goat that barks at the night of the full moon. Hilarious right? but if you consulted the gods you had to pay in their coin, interestingly this had changed in more recent times where they native doctors now demand payment in Naira or dollars ( probably soon it would be in Bitcoin).
Today, herbal medicine manufacturers and retailers like Paxherbals, Oosa Herbal, Abiola nature therapy and many others with quality products, branding and the use of technology in their consultations. Have positioned themselves in a better place to help quell the perception that has served to deny this industry of her growth.
Where To Invest?If you're looking to invest in Nigeria's billion dollar herbal industry ( i say this to quote Dr Maurice Iwu's estimation of the value of the industry), there are many value chains you can position your investment to take advantage of. Investing will be on a direct/semi direct basis as there is yet to be any public shares for herbal companies in Nigeria.
This said, there is the local healer chain where any firm can grow, nurture and extract herbal mixtures from these plants. One good news in this area is that Nigeria has a high density of herbal medicine especially in its tropical rain forest region.
Another key value chain is in the processing and manufacture of plant extracts. Some firms are already taking to this area but on a small scale and they are also in charge of their distribution to final consumers. A limitation here is that of little clinical trials, standardisation and research which has many herbal medicine averse constantly point to.
The distribution value chain area is tight and hardly available on large scale as herbal product manufactures are done a small scale. In case you're asking herbal products range from drugs to teas, toothpastes, cosmetics, soaps etc.
If you have not marked Nigeria's herbal industry as a profitable investment, do take another look. There a million people who are ready and waiting for your product but best be of high quality.
Like any industry in her infant years, Nigeria's herbal industry needs investment, regulation and needs to be able to scale. Many countries like India, China, Japan are earnestly harnessing their potentials and have successfully started exporting their herbal treats across the globe. I believe if we act now and wisely, we may become a herbal medicine giant and not a consumer nation when the decades turn.