OKO – A hive for Nigeria
Robine Baptiste, Gibert Gabriel, Bui Khanh, Brondi Allegra
IIM – Digital School Paris, France
Feeding nine billion people in the world in 2050 is surely one of the most complex challenges that our species will have to face during this century. How can we imagine that with enough resources to feed us all, there are still such great differences across the globe?Indeed, in absolute numbers, Asia holds the sad record of the largest number of malnourished people, but it is Africa that is the most seriously affected in terms of percentage with an increase in 2021, reaching 21% of malnourished people.
Nigeria, in particular, has the highest infant mortality rate, largely due to increasing malnutrition. Yet Nigeria is one of the most resource-rich countries in West Africa in terms of livestock and agriculture. But between conflicts of use between farmers and herders, political conflicts, terrorist groups, insufficient means and unstable markets, the agricultural situation in Nigeria cannot reach its full potential.
This led us to the following question: How can Nigerian agricultural markets contribute to strengthening West Africa’s food sovereignty?
OKO is a platform for investment in a Nigeria-wide mobile hive program. The main areas of conflict in Nigeria at the moment are around the resources needed by herders and farmers alike, such as water bodies and forests. The role of bees in biodiversity is well known, and bees could allow farmers to obtain better harvests, both in quantity and quality, when hives are placed in or near fields. When the harvest period is over, the hives can be moved to grazing areas that are unoccupied for part of the year. In this way, farmers would not need more and more planting space and herders could use their plots full time. In addition to reducing conflicts, the resources produced by these bees, be it honey, wax, royal jelly, can be processed and used for the food or health trade. This would not only boost the agricultural yield, but also the biodiversity of the area as a whole and the local economy, and would allow for the large-scale production of a certified quality product. From a more global perspective, all these improvements could benefit the whole of West Africa, where Nigeria would become a central place for export trade.
OKO’s business model is based on a system of ‘sponsorship’ and collaborative financing, whether by individuals or companies. Each actor can become a sponsor of a part or of a set of hives, for which he will receive in return a part of the elaborated products. The funding provided will be used to supply equipment to local actors but also to train them in modern beekeeping techniques.
The solution provided by OKO is a long term one, for which the benefits will be observed in several years but which constitute a basis and an anchor point of a more global strategy of reinforcement of the agricultural force already present in Nigeria, as well as the reinforcement of the stability of the local and international markets thanks to reliable and quality products.