During the 2018 rainy season, about 7.2 tons of NoduMax inoculant was distributed in seven countries; namely, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo. The product has been successfully registered in Nigeria and partially in Ghana.
In Nigeria, we have been able to identify two potential distributors that are financially reliable and that distributed good quantities of NoduMax this year. Other clients also bought small amounts of the product for personal use on their fields and gave positive feedback. In addition, NoduMax was tested with a Brazilian soyabean variety in collaboration with a food processor to understand the level of responsiveness on about 300 hectares of land in Kaboji, Niger State, and it was discovered that the variety cannot grow well without the inclusion of NoduMax. A yield of about 600 - 700 tons of soyabean seed is expected from the 350 hectares cultivated through IITA GoSeed with local varieties. As for the export market, the Nodumax was readily accepted and about 2 tons was sold in neighbouring countries.
Left: Soyabean plants inoculated with NoduMax (at flowering stage).
Right: A 300 ha field of soyabean inoculated with NoduMax at Kaboji, Niger
Farmers’ perception about the product
NoduMax was readily accepted both locally and internationally by farmers. They are happy with the product and are willing to continue to apply NoduMax when planting soyabean as they can expect increased yields of about 30–40%.
Farmers, especially the small scale farmers do not order in advance. This gives some problems of the availability of Nodumax at grassroots level In the coming season the Nodumax team will try to solve this with a closer co-operation with the Nigerian Soybean Association. Initial discussions have started already to have a plan in place for the planting season in 2019.
Challenges were encountered in the process of marketing NoduMax:
- Potential distributors have problems with pre-payment and this tends to have a negative effect on cash flow, hence, the identification of FMN and Harvestfield that are financially reliable as distributors.
- Bureaucracy at the border crossing poses a challenge as well and could be resolved with improved public relations.
In conclusion, the market potential for NoduMax is 350 tons in Nigeria, of which only 10% is targeted (35 tons). Therefore, the opportunity for expansion is enormous. At present, the capacity of the factory is 11 tons and can be stretched to 16 tons. The franchise model could be considered with FMN and Harvestfield Industries for orders above 16 tons.
Mrs Oke Bolanle, Manager Nodumax, IITA Ibadan, Nigeria