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BUSINESS

TikTok & Beyond: The Best Mobile Video Editing Apps

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Top videos you watch on TikTok and Instagram have often been produced on full-size PCs, but with smartphones offering more-capable video editing tools, more and more people are editing videos on the mobile devices themselves. Both Androids and iPhones now have a multitude of impressive video editing apps at their disposal. Some of the apps are template-based, requiring you to do no more than select your photos and videos to produce a compelling social video. Others give you nearly as much control as a sophisticated desktop video editing app, with tools for overlays, time remapping, motion effects, and audio editing. Here’s our take on the best of the mobile video editing lot.

 

 

$9.99 Per Month at Adobe

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Adobe’s well-designed mobile app for Android and iOS, Rush, syncs projects to your Creative Cloud account so you can continue editing a project on Premiere Pro on the desktop, but you can use it for standalone mobile editing, too. Versions of Rush itself are available for macOS and Windows, as well. You can shoot video in the app either in a simple or advanced mode, which lets you manually set aperture and focus. Once you’ve got some content, you can add titles, soundtrack music, and graphics overlays. For vertical output like TikTok, the Auto Reframe finds the active area of landscape shots and crops accordingly. The standard adjustments for lighting and color are at your disposal, and you can add track overlays and speed changes. One thing you won’t find are project templates like those offered by other apps here. After rendering a project, you can export it directly to Behance, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.

Adobe Premiere Rush Review

 

 

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Apple iMovie

Free at Apple App Store

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iMovie was among the first truly functional mobile video editors. The way it handles timelines, letting you scroll the track with your finger rather than moving an insertion point cursor like you have to do on desktop video editors, was a major helpful innovation. The app—which is only for iOS, of course—lets you manage all the standard video joining and trimming as well as tackling more advanced video editing, like green-screen compositing and speed altering. Among our favorite iMovie features is its Trailers templates, which show you exactly what kind of shots to insert. Another plus—you can continue editing projects on a desktop Mac in iMovie or Final Cut Pro.

Only available for iOS.

 

 

Canva

4.0
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Canva targets small business owners who want to up their social media game to promote products and services. It’s completely template-based and loaded with stock content so that you don’t have to worry about being a pro editor to make things look nice. It lets you make something without needing a single shot of your own. But you can, of course, use your own video clips and photos, as well as do fancy things like stacking simultaneous videos in a vertical layout or use overlays that you can crop. That said, the app lacks some basic video editing features like adjusting light and colors. You can think of it more as the video equivalent of a graphics design application, with strengths in text, shapes, and borders. Canva is available for free use, but many of its features, stock content, and templates require a Pro subscription, which also adds collaboration features for design teams.

Canva Review

 

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CapCut Video Editor

4.0
Free at Apple App Store

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This well-designed free app (owned by TikTok creator ByteDance) makes short work of creating shareable videos, thanks to its ShortCut option. With CapCut, you select clips and photos, and the app adds background music and effects. It added a video shake effect and flame overlays to one test video, but it took a couple minutes to render 30 seconds worth of clips on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. You can split clips, add text, remove backgrounds from shots with people, and even use overlays with transparency. When you’re done, the suggested place to share your work is —you guessed it—TikTok.

Available for both Android and iOS.

CapCut Review

 

 

 

 

InShot

Free at InShot lnc

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InShot is a fun-looking app that lets you produce not only video compilations but also collages and photo edits—but that doesn’t mean it’s weak in video tools. When you start, simple help tips show you how to split and trim clips, zoom in on the timeline, and swap clip positions. One of its strengths is that it gives you a number of stickers to overlay on your videos, in addition to text. Unlike competing video app Splice, InShot lets you easily position your overlays either by dragging the item around with a finger. Picture-in-picture, masking, cropping, and speed changing (including one-click freeze frame) are all at your disposal, as are a generous helping of transition styles. Surprisingly, the app even offers keyframe editing, which lets you animate effects. Background music is available to add from a decent library of stock, but there’s no image stock. The app is free with ads and watermarks on your output; you can remove ads for a one-time $3.99 or better, remove both ads and the watermarks—as well as getting more effects and stickers—for $2.99 per month, $9.99 per year, or $29.99 for forever.

Available for Android and iOS.

 

 

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Splice

Free at Apple App Store

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Splice has just about the slickest interface of any mobile video editing app, with a clear workflow and all the tools you could want. You can easily create picture-in-picture overlays (with transparency), chroma keys, masks, and speed changes. The app also supports HDR output. Nifty transitions are at your disposal as well as glitch and vintage effects and tons of text styles. You don’t get quite as much stock content or objects to overlay as you do in PowerDirector’s mobile app, though Splice’s music library is excellent. The price, is a bit steep, however, starting at $2.99 per week or $9.99 per month.

Available on Android and iOS.

 

 

Vimeo Create

Free at Vimeo

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Vimeo is the video hosting service used largely by movie and video professionals. In addition to hosting videos, the company puts out a screen capture program called Vimeo Record and a mobile video editing app called Vimeo Create. Vimeo Create makes it easy for marketers or just regular folks to put together a compelling piece of video. The template-based app is free, but some templates require a $24.99-per-month Pro account. Accounts can also take advantage of stock libraries of video and music. Luckily, you can filter template options to find the free ones. Adding video can be slow, but the app emails you when it finishes processing. The app lets you add stickers and text with animations, and it automatically applies template-based transitions. It doesn’t offer much in the way of detailed editing options like keyframes, overlays, or time remapping. Many of the stickers and styles are suitable for creating engaging sales and marketing quick takes, so this highly automated tool is best suited for people in those fields who want to produce something good-looking without getting into the weeds of video editing.

Available only for Android.

 

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Wondershare FilmoraGo

Free at Wondershare

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Wondershare makes Filmora desktop video editing software for macOS and Windows as well as this full-featured freemium mobile app for Android and iOS. You can get started with FilmoraGo by shooting video with your smartphone, using a template, or starting from scratch. When you choose a template, everything is done for you—you just have to add the specified number of photos or video clips. The full editor is clean-looking and powerful, with tooltips like Make This Video Cooler, which takes you to the bountiful transition options. Loads of effects, stickers, and background music tracks come with the app, and a voiceover button makes narration simple. You can choose a blending mode for overlays, but there’s no chroma key option. You can change speed and apply a one-tap freeze frame effect. The free version applies a Filmora watermark and limits you to 720p resolution, which is okay for phone viewing.

Available for Android and iOS.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: Federal Govt Sets Up 14-Man Committee to Manage Petroleum Products Supply, Distribution

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In a move to find lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management, which he will personally chair, the ministry of petroleum resources announced yesterday.

The Steering Committee, which has minister of state for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva as alternate chairman is expected to among other things to ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva has directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

The minister has further directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.

He further directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian is protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as AGO and DPK and LPG.

The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

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Other members of the committee are minister of Finance, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), comptroller-general, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Member (EFCC), and commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

Others who made up the Steering Committee are Authority chief executive, Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: Inside the Multi-Million-Dollar Business Dispute Between Emefiele and ‘Brother-in-Law’

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John Omoile, who is demanding $36 million in damages, accuses Mr Emefiele of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent representation and fraud.

The governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Godwin Emefiele, is embroiled in a multi-million-dollar legal battle that has torn apart a once close family relationship. The legal tussle is separate from the troubles he faces over the handling of his job.

Mr Emefiele recently sneaked out and back to the country to avert the possibility of arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) who accuse him of financing terrorism.

He faces growing criticisms over the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) often blamed for some of the nation’s economic woes and the scarcity of newly introduced currency notes just days before the deadline it set for phasing out the old notes.

As all of these happen, Mr Emefiele quietly grapples with a long-running feud which climaxed in a $36 million suit filed against him by a brother-in-law, John Omoile, in faraway Texas, the United States of America, in 2021.

The legal duel between Mr Emefiele and Mr Omoile is still on at the US District Court in the Northern Texas District.

Mr Omoile is demanding $36 million in damages for the losses he allegedly suffered as a result of the CBN governor’s alleged breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent representation and fraud in course of their business partnerships.

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Apart from tearing apart a familial relationship, the feud has defied the larger family’s interventions, recorded a violation of a settlement agreement, and pitted lawyers engaged by both sides in the US against themselves.

The case has passed through at least five Texas law firms apart from the Nigerian lawyers keeping watch over the Nigerian end of the battle on behalf of the warring parties.

With the case just starting in court for the third time, Mr Omoile has indicated it will cost him $200,000 in attorney’s fees.

Mr Emefiele, too, has complained to the court that it will be extraordinarily burdensome for him to defend himself in the US, where he does not reside.

He has urged the court to dismiss the suit and hold that Nigeria is the appropriate jurisdiction to pursue the case, for reasons including the fact that the settlement agreement which covered all the issues between him and Mr Omoile was signed in Nigeria in 2014.

Background: Emefiele Vs Omoile

Mr Emefiele’s wife, Margaret, and John Omoile, a dual citizen of Nigeria and the US, are cousins raised in their teenage years by an aunt in Agbor, Delta State, South-south Nigeria, according to documents filed in court.

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The bond between them was so strong that they regarded each other as siblings. When Margaret got married to Mr Emefiele, the CBN governor had no difficulty regarding Mr Omoile as his brother-in-law.

Court documents described in compelling detail the rosy past of their family relationship.

Mr Emefiele visited and stayed with Mr Omoile’s family in Texas, US, during some of his vacations. He described how he lavished Mr Omoile with gifts, money, and business opportunities over the years.

Also remembering their once affectionate family relationship, Mr Omoile said of how they “shared homes, spent holidays and family gatherings together, have been close family friends, and as detailed below, became business partners/joint venturers.”

Mr Omoile, on different occasions, helped the Emefieles to buy houses in his neighbourhood in Coppell, Texas.

Drawing from the familial bond, mutual trust and goodwill they had built in each other for decades, their rapport flourished and grew into a business partnership in 2004.

They sent funds to each other for personal investments and joint ventures in Nigeria and in the US.

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But in the unsavoury turn of events, the previously trusted relatives now accuse each other of fraud, greed, deception, and extortion. The CBN governor, who vehemently denied wrongdoing, said the suit currently “is simply another attempt to extort $36 million” from him.

Zenith Bank stock investments

In 2004, Mr Omoile said he paid Mr Emefiele $50,000 for the purchase of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) investment in Zenith Bank in Nigeria, where Mr Emefiele was then an official.

In 2007, Mr Omoile received 200,000 additional shares from Mr Emefiele as a gift.

Mr Emefiele became the managing director of Zenith Bank in 2010 and the governor of the CBN in 2014.

Mr Omoile said he often raised questions but has yet to get an answer about the wide range of issues, including dividends issued, but not paid, the prices at which certain stock shares were supposedly acquired for him, “and the prices at which Defendant Emefiele actually acquired the shares.”

He accused Mr Emefile of continuing to “use his position as former Managing Director and current Governor of the Bank of Nigeria to actively prevent Plaintiff Omoile from getting a full and accurate accounting for his shares.”

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Mr Emefiele and a contentious oil and gas partnership

In a related development, Mr Omoile recalled that in 2007, he, Mr Emefiele and one Pius Oyibo signed a tripartite agreement in Coppell, Texas, to form an oil and gas company on 7 December 2007. The proposed firm, called Noka Energy Nigeria Limited, was to buy, sell and transport petroleum products in Nigeria.

Mr Omoile recalled that he made several trips and several contacts on behalf of the partnership to Houston, the Caribbean, and Nigeria to meet with oil and gas executives.

He recalled Mr Emefiele’s investment into the venture to include $200,000 sent to him for the purchase of 10 truck heads from LKQ in Houston for the partnership.

He said he bought the truck heads, the number not specified, and shipped them to Nigeria, for the business.

He said he would later discover that Mr Emefiele did not incorporate Noka Energy Nigeria Limited as agreed, but instead formed Dummies Oil and Gas for himself.

Real estate business

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In 2006, while the other business discussions between them were going on, they formed a partnership called Rosewood Malcom LLC which would buy, sell and develop real estate properties in the US.

The business plan, according to Mr Omoile, included him taking mortgages in his name for the benefit of the joint venture.

He said profit and loss were to be shared equally between the partners, but that that was not the case eventually.

He said once the joint venture started, profits were shared, however, losses were left for him to bear.

According to him, the venture acquired a property at 7026 W. 43rd Street, Houston Texas, for $141,000.

He also said he took a personal mortgage in his name for $167,000 from Wachovia Bank.

He recalled that as the properties’ market value crashed during the US economic meltdown between 2008 and 2009, he continued to be responsible for the substantial financial burden of mortgage servicing without any help or assistance from Mr Emefiele.

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He added that he purchased a property in 2008 in Coppell with $360,000 sent by Mr Emefiele.

But he said he was bearing the tax liabilities on the properties from his personal business accounts. According to him, the total personal loss he incurred for the real estate partnership and out-of-pocket expenses meant to be paid by Mr Emefiele was at least $500,000.

Mr Emefiele offers defence

Mr Emefiele has yet to formally file a defence to the suit, but his side of the story can be gleaned from the troves of documents he attached as exhibits to his preliminary court filings.

In a letter dated 17 January 2022, Mr Emefiele’s lawyer, Nitor Egbarin, denied the allegations raised in previous ‘legal demand’ letters which Mr Omoile’s lawyer, Donald Kaiser Jr, sent directly to the CBN governor.

In the strongly-worded letter, Mr Egbarin said his client was not involved in the management of Mr Omoile’s Zenith Bank’s shares and could not have blocked access to the records of the investments.

He said the fact that Mr Omoile used the CBN governor’s business address as his contact address for receiving his brokerage account statement “is not a proof that my client had legal responsibility for managing John’s money in the brokerage account.”

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He said his client is no longer the Managing director of Zenith Bank and is not Mr Omoile’s stockbroker.

“Your legal demand must be directed at John to provide you with his Zenith Bank accounts which he opened in Agbor and in Lagos. Proceeds from John’s brokerage account are deposited into John’s bank accounts in Lagos and in Agbor,” the letter read in part.

Also denying his client’s alleged breach of financial obligation to their real estate venture, Mr Egbarin went down memory lane, highlighting Mr Emefiele’s investments in the venture and financial assistance he had rendered to Mr Omoile.

He recalled that in 2006, Mr Omoile took out $200,000, using a pre-signed cheque, from Mr Emefiele’s bank account, and never accounted for the money meant to be used for estate development in Houston.

He said instead of using the money to develop the Houston property, Mr Omoile and his wife, on 17 January 2007, took out a $167,650 construction mortgage with Wachovia Mortgage.

He also recalled Mr Emefiele sent another $40,000 to Mr Omoile in 2009 for the purchase of a second real estate property on the plot next to the first property in Houston.

Tired of the frustrations from the investments, Mr Emefiele, according to his lawyer, decided to stop providing financial support to Mr Omoile in 2012.

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But, the lawyer said, with a settlement agreement the brothers-in-law singed on 26 April 2014, Mr Emefiele agreed to relinquish all his rights in the two properties in Houston to Mr Omoile valued at over $207,650.

He said Mr Emefiele also paid off the Wachovia Mortgage balance of about $155,000.

He said the CBN governor also sent $250,000 requested by Mr Omoile to clear unpaid income tax in 2020.

He said, from 2006 to 2020, Mr Omoile had received at least $645,000 in cash in financial support from Mr Emefiele.

But he did not address the issue of the failed oil and gas business plan.

‘No more free food’

Mr Egbarin’s letter went beyond defending his client. It was an unsparing frenzied personal attack on Mr Omoile and his lawyer.

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The letter describes Mr Emefiele as “a wealthy banker” and former chief executive officer of “the largest bank in Nigeria and West Africa” who has been “a generous donor, benefactor and breadwinner” to Mr Omoile over the years.

The CBN governor, according to the letter, “took care of John (Mr Omoile) as one would do of a brother-in-law,” providing “financial support to John and his wife and his children over the years.”

In a rather demeaning manner highlighting how much the relationship between the in-laws has soured, Mr Egbarin said his client was no longer prepared to continue to feed Mr Omoile. “You should advise John that my client does not wish to continue to feed him. John should pursue other means to make a living rather than continue to shakedown my client for more financial support.”

Turning on Mr Kaiser, Mr Egbarin accused him of incompetence and of having little understanding of the area of law he was handling for Mr Omoile.

He also accused the lawyer of making false claims about Mr Emefiele and of unethical practice by bypassing him to write directly to the CBN governor.

He said Mr Emefiele, on becoming the CBN governor, became a target for a lawsuit in Nigeria engaged by Mr Omoile for “harassment demanding monies for matters that had been settled in the 2014 Settlement Agreement.”

He said the letters of demand sent severally to Mr Emefiele to account for Mr Omoile’s shares is “an attempt to shakedown/extort my client for money.”

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He ended the letter with a devastating salvo to Mr Omoile. “Finally, there is still nothing more my client will do for John. The gravy train has come to a stop.”

Members of the larger family called a series of peace meetings attended by the brothers-in-law to settle their disputes.

The meetings were held in Nigeria. Some of the meetings were also held via Zoom.

They finally reached an agreement in 2014.

With the hope of getting “relief from the mounting debts” resulting from the real estate losses since 2007, Mr Omile said, he signed the agreement with Mr Emefiele on 26 April 2014.

But both sides have accused each other of violating the agreements.

The family also again called a series of Zoom meetings to resolve the disputes in April 2020.

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But in what would be the last straw, according to Mr Omoile, Mr Emefiele declared through his wife, Margaret, who represented him at one of the Zoom meetings, that there was never an intention to form and operate a joint oil and gas firm.

Mr Omoile said he realised then that he had been “induced with false statements and promises” to enter into a partnership with Mr Emefiele. He also said he realised that Mr Emefiele “never intended to follow through with his past promises”.

Unending Legal battle: Emefiele Vs Omoile

With settlement talks over, Mr Omoile took the decision to sue Mr Emefiele after the Zoom meetings in 2020.

In July 2021, he hired a Texas attorney, Kenneth Onyenah, who filed the suit claiming economic and actual damages against Mr Emefiele for the losses he allegedly incurred as a result of the CBN governor’s alleged failure to fulfil his financial obligations to him and their joint ventures.

He filed the suit at the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

But shortly after the filing, the lawyer withdrew the suit.

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Mr Omoile said the lawyer withdrew the suit without prior communication or his authority in August 2021.

He added that the lawyer took the step after he was threatened by Mr Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr Egbarin. But Mr Egbarin said the lawyer withdrew the case after realising it had no merit.

Later in 2021, Mr Omoile hired Donald Kaiser Jr. to reopen the case.

On 12 May 2022, Mr Kaiser refiled the suit at the 68th Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Texas.

But following Mr Emefiele’s objection, the suit was removed from the state court “on the basis of diversity jurisdiction” to a federal court, the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

A new lawyer named Ewomazino Magbegor is now representing Mr Emefiele following the refiling of the case.

Mr Magbebor is the second lawyer known on record to have defended the CBN governor in the matter in the US. From Mr Egbarin’s letter, the plaintiff, Mr Omoile, has engaged at least three lawyers in respect of the case.

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Mr Emefiele’s new lawyer, in November 2022, filed an application to challenge the service of the suit on the CBN governor through substituted means. He also sought the dismissal of the suit on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter.

The court’s decision on the application will determine the future of the case.

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BUSINESS

Advertising Market Leaders Give 5 Marketing Musts for 2023

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1. Recognize the increasingly important role of video Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing & communications officer at Mastercard talked about how video is a critical component of his business’s marketing mix. “It’s where you’re able to evoke the right emotions,” he said. “You’re able to connect with consumers to tell the story the right way, and to impress upon them the message you’re trying to convey. Video is front and center in whatever we do.” Twitter’s director, client services – retail & travel, Alex Kennedy, agreed: “Video is core to any good strategic marketing plan. Whether your objective is awareness, consideration, or even priming consumers for lower-funnel objectives like conversion, there is a role for video. And the reason is because consumers are consistently watching more video, specifically online digital video.” Kennedy also stressed the importance of understanding both the customer and their viewing context to get the most out of video. “You have to reach your consumer where they are and how they’re watching,” she explained. “That means you have to create bespoke content for the environment. That’s what’s going to be key.” 2. Make the most of the data mix, utilizing both first- and third-party data The level of understanding Kennedy described requires a data strategy that recognizes the role all the different types of data have to play. This point was picked up by Sean Popen, executive vice-president, outcome navigator at Interpublic’s activation intelligence company Matterkind. “A tactic that we’re seeing working is using a combination of first, second- and third-party data, which allows brands to tap in and get that additional reach,” he said. This view was echoed by Dawn Williamson, senior vice-president, head of sales development at Comcast’s advertising sales division, Effectv, who stressed the importance of using data to target audiences: “It’s going to be less about ‘I want to be in this show’ and more about ‘Where’s my audience, and where are they consuming content?’ because, as an advertiser, that’s where I want to be.”

3. Overcome the challenges of a fragmented viewing audience According to Dave Pajeau, executive director of programmatic/advanced TV for Effectv, video advertising will only continue to get more fragmented as more providers come in. For him, the key will be to integrate the traditional and streaming experiences, enabling measurement and targeting against the two together. “There’s a tremendous amount of viewership that still exists through traditional linear channels, and that now co-exists with new viewership through streaming platforms,” he said. “They work best together, but you have to know the right allocation for your brand and audience. So in 2023 we’ll start moving towards true cross-screen delivery, audience delivery and measurement.” 4. Understand how the consumption of advertising has evolved Brian Wallach is head of revenue for programmatic TV sales platform AudienceXpress. In his view, successful advertisers are those who understand there’s no longer one single consumer journey, no matter what the brand or sector. “Successful advertisers are consumers themselves, and oftentimes they admit they watch content in different ways,” he explained. “So now their planning and execution of media is adapting so that, if their desired audience isn’t all coming from traditional linear TV, they’re able to optimize and adapt and run media against other channels. We call these fluidity deals in the industry, where it’s less about whether it’s linear TV or digital, and more about reaching the right audience in quality programming.” For Effectv’s Williamson, it once again comes back to understanding your customers. “Clients and advertisers are really focusing on consumer behavior, and they’re studying where ad consumption is happening. So it’s less about connected TV or video-on-demand (VOD), and more about looking at the entire TV ecosystem to ensure they’re targeting the right audiences as they’re looking to get their message out there.” 5. Value a ‘one viewer’ solution Being able to track and measure viewing behavior across multiple platforms is the crucial piece of the puzzle. It will improve brands’ understanding of their customers, solve ad frequency problems and allow sequential messaging. It will also allow more accurate attribution, improving media planning and increasing efficiency. That’s why Elizabeth Luciano, senior vice-president, marketing & brand strategy at broadcaster A+E Networks, is keen to encourage everyone in the video advertising space to work together to make the ‘one viewer’ solution happen. “It’s going to be so important,” she said. “We want to deliver content when and where people want to watch it. In order to do that, we need to see how they travel across platforms.”

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Learn from your experiences

Perhaps the final word goes to Soyoung Kang, chief marketing officer at beauty brand eos. As marketers start to think about the trends that will define their 2023, she urged them to also remember the lessons of the last few years. “As we try to understand how to navigate this macroeconomic climate, it’s really important for us as marketers to continue to push forward,” she said. “We have to stay agile. We’ve built all of these muscles during the pandemic where we needed to be able to shift investments as circumstances changed. It’s time to exercise those muscles again.”
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AGRICULTURE

How to Start a Cocoa Business in Nigeria and Make Money From It

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People born between the ’60s and ’80s would definitely know the value of cocoa production in Nigeria. Cocoa is a crop Nigeria once banked on as its major exported cash crops before the oil boom. Nigeria was the biggest exporter of cocoa in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. Then Crude Oil came and poor agricultural management set in, costing the Nigerian economy badly and allowing Nigerian to lose the prestigious spot to a fellow African country, Cote d’Ivoire, who is now the largest cocoa producer in the world, followed by Indonesia.

When cocoa production and export are concerned, Nigeria only lives in past glory and if care is not taken, Nigeria might end up losing all it has gained from the export of what is touted as some farmers as the ‘Wealth Seed.’ The demand for Cocoa now is significantly higher than what the demand was, back then. When the agricultural spotlight is focused on Nigeria, foreign countries can vividly see the potentials in Nigeria and would quickly act fast in taking advantage of it, while Nigerians sit on a goldmine and yet they can’t see it but only look forward to foreign aid and investments.

Anyone looking to delve into Cocoa production business in Nigeria is in for a bit of a fortune if he really knows his onions. For a long time, Cocoa has been and would for a really long time still be one of the fastest-selling agricultural products in both the international market and the local market. As stated earlier, there is a high prospect for cocoa business to thrive in the country. This is because it is in high demand all over the world as it is used in the manufacture of different things such as candy bars, chocolate, cocoa powder as well as drinks and several others. Cocoa farming and beans extraction are labour intensive and the beans are fragile. This pushes many people from the business, especially in a country like Nigeria where there are deficiencies of preservative facilities.

Although Cocoa is not the easiest of crops to manage, once a potential merchant can sacrifice the time and the effort to have it planted, groomed and nurtured to its full maturity, he can keep getting attractive returns on it for a time as long as decades. Truth be told, cocoa production in Nigeria is one very under-exploited and under-utilised sector and Nigeria still needs as many farmers in the cocoa production section as possible, since demand continues to outweigh supply. There are still thousands of acres of fertile lands that can still be used for the planting and cultivation of cocoa. Just like any other business, a potential Cocoa merchant must have a well-designed business plan that will guide the cocoa business. This means that he must first sit down and work out things involved in the cocoa business and have a road map on how to go about it.

Delving into Cocoa Farming and Production

Starting the cocoa farming and production business in Nigeria isn’t as hard as it seems, especially if one can endeavour to gather the right information and knowledge about the business. Armed with the right knowledge on cocoa farming, botany, industrial value and demand chain, a potential cocoa merchant can be able to utilise and exploit the huge profits associated with the business, and with time he might soon become a big player in the cocoa production business.

It is also worthy to note that the returns on cocoa business start small but grows on bigger and bigger with time and the right amount of effort.

 

The first major step in delving into Cocoa Farming and production is Financial Planning

Anyone who has an interests in cocoa cultivation must first work out the different costs. Different costs are involved and fundraising for the business is also important.  Furthermore, research has shown that cocoa can grow together with other cash crops like Coconut and Cashew so combining the production strategies is a good way to maximise profits.

Capital also plays a large role in the kick-off of this business. A potential merchant has to decide if he would be going into Cocoa cultivation large scale or small scale. This decision would influence the amount of capital he would be investing in the business. This is why a good Business plan goes a long way in determining the success rate of the cocoa cultivation business.

Other things needed are:

  • Piece of Land: If the merchant wants to see through his business from start to finish, he would unavoidably need an area of land to start his cocoa business, but it all depends on what he can afford. For a small scale business, he doesn’t necessarily have to get farmland, as he can simply buy fresh cocoa seeds from farmers who’ll sell it at a much lesser price.
  • Storage and Drying Space: The merchant would inevitably need to have a store or warehouse, secure enough to give his business (the cocoa seeds) the required safekeeping it needs. His business is his cocoa seeds, as he has no business with the pods. Also, the store needs to have enough space outdoors for him to spread his seeds. Cocoa seeds need to be dried in the sun for it to be usable. The drying period normally takes a period of two weeks.
  • Relevant Equipment: The merchant would need equipment like the scale for weighing the bags, normal sacks and heavy-duty sacks, for conveying the seeds from one place to another, and a wide water-proof material that can be used in drying the seeds in open air.
  • Cocoa Seeds: There goes the tiny but most integral part of the business. The cocoa seeds can either be bought from cocoa farmers or harvested if the merchant already has access to a cocoa farm, an option which is advisable later in his business when you have the money.

 

Land Preparation

Cocoa is a crop that cannot do well in all kinds of soil. This means that before a potential merchant commences the business, he must test the soil to determine the type of yield he would be able to attain during harvest season.

Crop protection and nutrient management are also important in this kind of business. Cocoa is known to grow well in some parts of Nigeria, especially the western part of Nigeria. One can consider acquiring land in any of these places to grow cocoa.

 

The Type of Cocoa Variety to Invest in

Another aspect a prospective merchant will pay attention to is the best variety to plant. This is that the reason soil test will help him discover the types of cocoa species that are compatible with a particular soil or environment.

There are at least three varieties on the market and they include the Trinitario, Forastero, as well as the Criollo. Apart from that, there are also some improved varieties, which can be gotten from other parts of the world, and these can do well in Nigeria.

 

Planting Process

Method of Propagation

When it comes to Cocoa cultivation, there are two options available to the merchant, which include the Vegetative and Seed propagation. A lot of people prefer Seed propagation because it seems to grow faster than the Vegetative propagation. Germinations starts within a week of propagation and moreover, a greater percentage of it can germinate (at least ninety per cent or more of the seed). The survival rate is higher in seed than in vegetative propagation.

Also, this stage is where the main business starts. A Cocoa merchant can also engage in mass production of cocoa after the seeds have germinated, he can transplant them using a perforated polythene bag. He can also sell some of the seedlings. Other merchants who deal in Cocoa seedlings will like to buy it.

On the other hand, many large-scale producers prefer the Vegetative option than the seedling option. Vegetation is grown through such methods like grafting, root cuttings, as well as stem budding and so on. In Nigeria, many cocoa farmers prefer the budding option.

Planting
When it comes to planting, the merchant has to be careful the way he plants it to ensure that it survives. If after testing the soil and he discovers that it is not that fertile, there are still other alternatives.  He would have to dig a pit of about 50 by 50 by 50 centimetres. This advice is very important if he resides in the lateritic zones where the soil is known to be low fertile.

After digging the holes, he must make a soil combination of organic manure and topsoil and fill the pit with it. This is to enhance the survival rate. Those in fertile areas have nothing to worry about.

It is always recommended to plant it on a soil surface. The cocoa root grows well in surfaces irrespective of the depth.

After-cultivation Care
There are a few must-dos that attract a bumper cocoa harvest, time and resources are of the essence when taking care of the cocoa. Once the planting is finished, the next thing to do is to mulch the basins using organic manure.

Shoots emerging from the lower portions must be removed.  This is to ensure healthy development and growth of the shoot. The planting can last three to four years, but the process always has to be weed-free.

Fertilisation and Manure
The essence of the soil test is to determine soil fertility. This can equally assist in determining the right type of manure to apply. In Nigeria, NPK fertilizers are popular and this can be applied in two equal splits.

The dose to apply depends on the yield wanted. For species that yield up to sixty pods yearly, the dose must be doubled.

In addition to that, the merchant can administer dolomite to each plant yearly. This can start from the third year of the cocoa plantation. The best method to administer fertilizer to the cocoa crops is to mix fertilizer with soil in a basin and administer it to the plant.

Pruning
The cocoa plant requires pruning and it grows in tiers. If properly managed, the plant can produce five fan branches. It is better if the growth is restricted just to one-tier. Because of that, there is the need for constant pruning.

Irrigation
Irrigation is necessary if there is no adequate rainfall distribution. Naturally, it grows well under well water. Supplemental irrigation is a necessity if the merchant stay in areas where there is no adequate water supply. Water is necessary because it helps cocoa plants to grow very well and makes the yield better.

Protection
Cocoa like other cash crops needs to be protected from diseases, pests, and vagaries of nature. The most important thing is to protect them from those harmful insects and pests around. There must be an adequate arrangement for chemical spraying and other ways of protecting it.

 

Harvesting
This is the time to yield the benefits of labour. It takes about one hundred and seventy days for the cocoa to be ready for harvesting. After harvesting the pods, the merchant can store it for four days. This facilitates fermentation. Furthermore, it makes superior quality cocoa beans possible.  The pods should not be overripe before harvesting.

There are two harvesting seasons in a year; light and heavy harvest.

After harvesting, it is time for fermentation. With a good cocoa processing unit, the merchant is sure of producing different varieties of cocoa beans.

 

Marketing and Export

The target markets are food and beverage companies, soap making industries, chocolate producing companies etc. A ton of cocoa seeds is sold between $2195 – $3130 in the International market. Locally cocoa has a standard price of 50kg selling for ₦55,000.

There are a variety of ways that cocoa is exported from Nigeria. In some cases, one or even two middlemen are involved between the Nigerian farmers and cocoa exporters. The Nigerian trade begins with farmers working to harvest cocoa beans from the local crop. The following are ways in which cocoa beans are exported from Nigeria:

  • Farmers to Small Buyers – Small buyers visit individual clients (farms) to purchase a share of the cocoa crop. In this method, small buyers may sell the crop directly to exporters, but more commonly the small buyers sell the cocoa to wholesale buyers who make the final sell to exporters.
  • Farmers to Co-operatives – Farmer co-ops combine cocoa from several farms to sell to different agencies. The co-op purchases cocoa directly from farmers, and in some cases, sells it to exporters directly. In other cases, the co-op may also export the product directly.

Nearly half of all Cocoa in Nigeria is exported to the Netherlands (45%). Germany and Malaysia are ranked second and third in cocoa imports from Nigeria, importing 22% and 6.2% of Nigeria’s cocoa output, respectively. Other top importers of Nigerian cocoa include Spain, Italy, Belgium-Luxembourg, and China.

Nigerian cocoa and cocoa beans are usually exported in the raw or unprocessed form to chocolate processing plants in these countries. The cocoa is typically exported to confectionary companies to make chocolate bars and other chocolate products, such as candy, cakes, and chocolate beverages.

 

List of Cocoa Exporters in Nigeria

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) based in Ivory Coast maintains a directory of farmers, exporters, and other professionals related to the cocoa industry. Although Nigeria was a member in 2010, the country is not listed among the organisation’s members in 2018.

Cocoa Exporters in Nigeria

The list of cocoa exporters in Nigeria include:

  • FTN Cocoa Processors Plc
  • Ideal Risku Global Limited
  • Saro Agro-Allied
  • Tosmega Cocoa Nigeria Limited
  • Akeen and Kamoru Nigeria Ltd
  • Berveek Limited
  • Cocoa Products (Ile Oluji) Ltd
  • Remedy Crown Investment
  • Shinwillcrown Cocoa Producing Company

The list of cocoa bean exporters of bulk and wholesale cocoa beans from Nigeria include:

  • Agro traders Ltd
  • Crystal Green Ltd
  • Gbemtan Investment Ltd
  • Olatunde International Ltd
  • Agebelere Cocoa Farm
  • Okon & Sons Integrated Services Ltd
  • Ose Global Bizness Links Nig. Ltd.
  • Terry Cocoa Merchant
  • Yinka Akintilo Enterprises Ltd

 

Cocoa Production in Nigeria: Feasibility Study
The feasibility study included in this guide is for a medium cocoa production business, from the start to the sale of 500 bags of cocoa. The Capital covers from store set-up, land acquisition, seed purchase, production, and marketing.
The selling price of cocoa is the same almost everywhere. Each bag (A standard of 50 Kg) is being sold for about ₦55,000.

For a start, all the materials needed (Renting a store depends on location, purchase of needed equipment, planting and tendering, and so on, is approximately ₦3,500,000)

If the merchant starts harvesting after 18 months, (he can start harvesting as soon as that if he had planted the early-maturing, high-yielding and disease-resistant cocoa beans seed to boost his farm’s production in a short period of time).
₦55,000 X 500 = ₦27,500,000

(Return on Investment) ROI = ₦27,500,000 – ₦3,500,000 After 18 months of cultivation, the gain is a staggering ₦24,000,000; which isn’t bad at all especially since selling cocoa beans seed doesn’t take much marketing.

 

Issues Affecting Cocoa Export in Nigeria

Before you engage in the cocoa trade in Nigeria, it’s important to consider how to overcome common challenges affecting the cocoa trade and cocoa exporters in Africa. These concerns include everything from adequate production to transportation. Educating yourself on these issues may not eliminate the concern, but can help you determine a plan of action before engaging in trade.

  • Roads and Transport – More than 30,000 tons of cocoa were found delayed in transit in the capital city of Lagos while en route to ports for export.  Specifically, traffic, craters, and floods are to blame for the delay. This delay put strain on local businesses and some even sought loans to cover expenses while waiting for exports to be shipped and paid by buyers.
  • Delays in cocoa production – For many years, Nigeria ranked fourth behind Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia in cocoa production, but a recent drop in production has lowered Nigeria’s position in the cocoa production chain to fifth, tied with Cameroon. Lack of support for farmers, including access to cocoa seedlings, price risk management, and pest control training are just a few factors that have led to a decrease in cocoa production. Many small farms harvest most cocoa in Nigeria throughout the southern region.
  • Lack of farmers – Several news reports outline both the lack of younger farmers and the lack of interest of younger farmers in cocoa farming. This lack of interest has led to a decrease in the number of cocoa farmers. While there have been calls to stimulate the cocoa economy, the Nigerian cocoa production efforts faces significant challenges to its growth if enough young farmers don’t participate in the cocoa trade.

 

COCOA PRODUCTION: RISKS INVOLVED

  • Managing a cocoa farm takes time, effort, patience and energy.
  • Constant guard and protective measure against rodents and infectious parasites.
  • Setting up a cocoa production plant is very capital intensive.

COCOA PRODUCTION: ADVANTAGES

  • Cocoa sells faster than almost every other agricultural produce.
  • The merchant would inadvertently be contributing to the nations GDP.
  • A lot of beverage companies rely on cocoa for production, making it very profitable.
  • As a young person, you can leave the circle of the unemployed.
  • The ROI from cocoa and production is very attractive and is enough compensation for the merchant’s time, energy and money.
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