Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our Rebrand Nigeria Ambassadors Series!
It is with pleasure that we present to you this next #Ambassador who is solving problems that are common to many farmers in Nigeria. His company provides high-quality agricultural input, trainings and reliable market for groundnut farmers. His name is Ladipo Lawani; co-founder and CEO of L&L Foods Nigeria. The firm is involved in food processing and packaging focused on the Nigerian market.
Ladipo was running his MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing at Columbia Business School when he and his partner founded L&L Foods. The Lagos-based company processes and brands groundnuts into nut snacks called ‘Mr Ekpa.’ There are different flavors of the snacks such as Mr Ekpa Frosted Groundnut, Mr Ekpa Regular Roasted Groundnut, and Mr Ekpa Salted Groundnut.
Nigeria is the largest producer of groundnut in Africa with over 3 million metric tonnes produced annually and sold as roasted nuts in used bottles. Ladipo, who drew inspiration from late Alhassan Dantata, a Nigerian Business tycoon who made considerable wealth from groundnut sales, decided to create jobs and contribute to the national economy through the Nigerian groundnut industry.
He researched the agricultural sector in Nigeria and discovered the gap in food processing and branding. He also found out that a toxic fungus called aflatoxin contributed to the diminishing groundnut industry in Nigeria. He then launched into processing and packaging of aflatoxin-free groundnuts. Today, L&L has over 20 staff working and processing over one tonne of groundnuts daily. They have over 25 wholesalers and over a thousand stores selling Mr Ekpa in big cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Kano.
The company buys groundnuts directly from the farmers and offer farmers better seeds and fertilizers, train them on modern farming practices and have successfully increased their yields by 150%. This was achievable through partnerships with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme that offers grants to farmers. The company plans to empower up to 5000 farmers by 2020.
L&L Foods won the Columbia Business School Shark Tank Competition (New Venture Competition) – 2016 and the Nigerian Economic Summit Inaugural Startup Competition in 2017.
Ladipo is listed among the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 – 2018.
God bless Nigeria!!