Thriving pineapple business in Abuja 




Pineapple business is a lucrative business in Nigeria either by packaging and reselling them. Apart from its nutritional benefit and availability in the market, it is very easy to set up depending on location and how one wants to operate it, ADEOLA TUKURU writes 

For its smallness, sellers are often found at street corners while some put theirs in carts and push from street to street. Yet, there are some entrepreneurs that have moved the trade a bit higher, selling pineapple in groceries.

One unique thing about Pineapple is that the business can be run from one’s home on full time or on a part-time basis depending on choice and clients. 

For Yusuf Dahiru who hails from Kano, one can decide to be stationary (in a location) or move from place to place seeking buyers. 

He told Business Starter that sellers operating at this level, target the highbrow areas where people appreciate the fruit. 

Unlike before, when pineapples were solely left with the itinerant sellers, grocery stores are springing up in their numbers in different parts of the FCT especially in highbrow areas of the city.  

With advancement in technology, which has made mobility and commerce easier, the fruit limited to certain locations and geography can now be sold in any locality. 

Distribution

Dahiru said all that is required is for the small-scale traders or middle man to get to the sources of supply and buy for onward distribution to the final consumers, which may be schools, restaurants, hotels, individuals etc.  

Pineapple which is among the classes of fruit is a business that rakes in several millions of naira to the farmer, sellers and organisations in the chain of distribution.

Though some fruits are seasonal, they can always be preserved

Dahiru said “selling fruits is big business; you need to know where to source them and how to preserve them to make it in the business. It is a business that can be started small based on your capital.”

 Advice on pineapple business 

 Advising anybody coming into the business, he said, “aside from getting a good selling location, you need a good refrigerator and have to know how to care for the fruits before putting them in the fridge.

He said some do not need refrigeration, but just have to be put in place, where there is plenty of air.

‘How I get my produce  

Speaking on the market, he revealed that the market is wide; “all I need to do is to go to the depot, where the farmers bring them from the rural areas to Abuja. 

“We get the pineapple cheaper, clean them up and package them for either the grocery stores or the open markets.

“I have been in this business for the past 8 years, I do not regret entering the business, because it has paid my bills and sustained my family. I make enough money and have to get ladies to sell for me at different locations” he noted.

His classes of customers 

Explaining the category of people that buy from him, Dahiru said: “I package my pineapple in nylon wraps for buyers to pick. 

“Though, I sell a variety of pineapples, I must say our local fruit gives me more money because I go to the markets where middlemen from the grassroots bring them to Lagos; so aside from getting them cheaper I get good ones,” he revealed.

“Nigerians are getting used to taking fruits mostly on health grounds and this is boosting our purse.

“Some of us have even devised a means of selling the fruit in smaller packages for those that cannot buy a whole stalk. This small packaging rakes in more money, though difficult putting together,” he said.

Health benefit 

Revealing how he gets the supply of fruits from his local farmers in Abuja and, sometimes, from suppliers who bring them from the North. According to him, fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. 

He said they are naturally low in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol. They keep the body healthy and could help lower the risk of many illnesses like stroke, heart attack, certain cancers, kidney stones and bone loss. 

“These are some of the illnesses Nigerians may not want to be associated with and as such depend on fruits to prevent them.

His gain in business 

“So, the market is huge and I must say I have people that come regularly for supply and there are no dull moments, especially during fasting periods, where I make between N40,000 to N55, 000 within three months.

‘How I started’ 

Recounting how it all began, he said: “I started selling fruits 10 years ago with a cart, but today, I do not see any business better than it. As you can see, I have moved from that level to a stall. I pay middlemen that go to the farmers directly; so I buy right from the source,” he said.

Operating a grocery store in Abuja, Dahiru noted that the location of his business determines the peculiarity of pineapple he sells. 

“The business is lucrative and chances are if there are no damages, you have a quick turnover and regularly smile at the bank.

“The market is huge, as you can see in the chain of distribution right from the people that bring the foil, nylon wrappers to the crates and cartons used for the package.”

How to invest in fruits business 

With the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria agribusiness ideas can create a livelihood for you and banana farming is one of them. 

You no longer need to moan about unemployment in the country or the lack of opportunities in the country. 

You can start a highly profitable fruit business in Nigeria and get a good return on your investment. However, you will need access to large land to enable you to take it to commercial standards.

People all over the country and outside the country consume the fruit for one reason or the other; therefore there is a high demand for it in the country.

Unlike other agricultural practices whereby you need to continually plant crops; the fruit business doesn’t need that. Once you have actually planted the fruit on your farmland, you can keep harvesting for the next 12 -15 years.

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