Biobusiness and BioTrade

1Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP) are key promoters of Biobusiness and biotrade.

BioBusiness is an initiative of BDCP aimed at promoting and showcasing the products of the indigenous flora of Africa which has historically supported healthcare delivery, food, beverages, as well as health and beauty products. The continued reports on the harmful effects of drugs and other synthetic medicinal products have led to realization that traditional health practices and formulations have a significant role to play in tackling health challenges as well as health inequalities. This is especially the case for Sub-Saharan Africa which has the highest poverty level. Today, the emergence of new technology has brought renewed global focus on the sustainable use of plants and genetic materials in the development of new products in the agricultural, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, with a global market exceeding US$100b. This represents tremendous opportunities for natural products manufacturers in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region.
BDCP’s BioBusiness initiative is implemented through a natural products expo, HerbFEST, which helps stimulate the natural products and bio-business industrial sub-sector in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region. By so doing, this expo tries to find ways of keying into the herbal renaissance blooming across the world with a view to enhancing our capacity for delivery of new health products to the international markets especially the EU and the US market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and thus diversify the export base of the local economy.

HERBFEST
HerbFEST is conceived and originated by BDCP and is aimed to stimulate the natural products and bio-business industrial sub-sector in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region, and enhance its capacity for delivery of new health foods to the EU & the US market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and diversify the export base of the local economy. The first HerbFEST in Nigeria took place in 2003 solely organized by BDCP.
The International Centre for Ethnomedicine and Drug Development (InterCEDD), a private research and development organization, and the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), a parastatal of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology became partners in 2009
Against this background, BDCP, NNMDA and InterCEDD in collaboration with stakeholders nationally and internationally, now organize HerbFEST as an annual natural products expo, to help stimulate the natural products and bio-business industrial sub-sector in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region, and to enhance its capacity for delivery of new health foods to the EU, US and Asian market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and diversify the export base of the local economy.

The workshop also provides a clear link between production, processing and marketing practices such that all stakeholders from farmers to investors derive maximum benefits whilst still meeting up with global standards.
The overall goal of HerbFEST is to showcase our achievements and investment opportunities to the world and enhance the patronage/recognition, productive capacity and income status of small producers. This is achieved through a combination of market promotion, enterprise development and training sessions. Small and medium enterprises involved in the manufacture of natural products exhibit their products to potential buyers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors and investors over a three-day period, in Lagos and Abuja Nigeria respectively.

To address technical problems faced by natural products entrepreneurs, a panel discussion is incorporated. This forum will enable start-ups/producers/researchers/government/financial institutions of repute, discuss challenges, share experiences and exchange ideas on best practices that provide vast opportunities for overcoming problems. A select number of biosciences research experts and leading manufacturers will be encouraged to share their innovative technologies, research findings and technical constraints. This section also serves the purpose of networking and database update.

The 2013 HerbFEST was held on 8th–10th October 2013 at Raw Material Research and Development Council, Abuja. In 2014, it will be on 25th-27th November 2014 at Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Lagos.

BIOTRADE
The BIOTRADE project seeks to enhance the capability of Nigeria to produce value added food and agro forestry products and services for both domestic and international market. It is an integrated project consisting of Product Assessment and Value Chain Analysis; Market Research; and Technical Trade Capacity Development.

Our approach is to create a link between the farmers in the state and the domestic and international markets in order to create employment and reduce rural poverty. A significant reduction in unemployment and rural poverty will therefore affect the security situation and socioeconomic development in the state positively.

A. Technical trade capacity development
Our Compliance Assistance Program (CAP) provides a range of services aimed at building technical trade capacity, enhancing products to meet the standards of the world class market and improving the knowledge and ability of small and medium sized natural products company’s ability to export goods to US and Asian market. The services provided also include consultations to US government, international and African agencies.
B. Product assessment and value chain analysis
We conduct a comprehensive supply-chain analysis and needs assessment in order to identify and prioritize those points of intervention where the Biotrade can have the greatest positive impact on the growth and profitability of food and natural products.
i. Initial product assessment and site visits to key producers
ii. Identification of supply-chain constraints and bottlenecks, technical assistance needs and market-driven opportunities for growth and profitability.
iii. Compilation and analysis of site visit data.

C. Market research involves the development of market opportunities for local products and small enterprises including linkages to manufacturing companies and other end users.

D. Research and summarize local, regional, European, Asian and US market requirements including import regulations, quality standards and market channels.
E. Identify end users by country

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