With a recent move, a maize aggregator in Nigeria has demonstrated how a pay-for-results prize competition can change the course of a business’s future.
In early December 2018, Ahalson General Enterprises established a new grain cleaning facility in the Dawanau Market of Kano, Nigeria. This facility, which has the capacity to clean 43,200 MT (metric tons) of grain per year, further cements Ahalson’s position in the market as a reputable maize wholesaler. It will help ensure the supply of high-quality grains to buyers in Kano and the surrounding areas. Where did Ahalson get the funding for this facility? In part from the prize they won participating in AgResults.
Ahalson is one of 29 maize aggregators participating in the AgResults Nigeria AflasafeTM Challenge Project. Currently in its fifth year, the AgResults Nigeria AflasafeTM Challenge Project incentivizes the private sector to encourage smallholder farmers to use AflasafeTM, a biocontrol agent to prevent a deadly set of toxins known as aflatoxins. The Challenge pays an annual prize based on the total amount of AflasafeTM-treated maize that each participating private sector competitor buys from farmers. By motivating the application of AflasafeTM, these companies are creating a market for high-quality maize, driving down health threats while boosting farmer incomes.
Ahalson Enterprises set up the cleaning facility using the prize money they won based on the amount of AflasafeTM-treated maize aggregated in 2017/2018 season. Already the benefits of the investment in machinery are clear: Early tests show that sesame, maize, sorghum, and other grains cleaned through the machinery are 99.8-99.9% pure. Rather than outsourcing the cleaning, Ahalson can now clean these grains to meet international standards, improving their export business as well. In addition to ensuring high-quality grain that will sell at higher prices, the facility is creating jobs for young people in Kano.
“We are very happy with the AgResults project, which has turned the fortune of our business through backward integration in advanced agricultural production with Aflasafe technology,” says Ali Ahmad Ali of Ahalson Enterprises. “These efforts are helping us meet international food standards and have empowered us with incentives to grow our business and training to help farmers in Nigeria.”
With smart investments of their AgResults prize and an eye toward the future, Ahalson Enterprises has taken one more step to provide Nigerians with clean, high-quality maize — and ensure its long-term success.