A few years ago, Afie Braimoh was hired from Florida in the US to manage the setup of a juice manufacturing plant in Benue State – Nigeria’s acclaimed “food basket” – where she learnt that many famers in Benue suffer huge post-harvest losses due to a lack of storage facilities and poor roads.
“I saw lots of rot in food produce,” Braimoh recalls, and she started to think of a solution to create a sustainable value chain while empowering farmers.
How did it all start?
At first, she considered setting up a fruit juice company. She realised, however, that while fresh fruits are seasonal, dried fruits are available all year round and have a longer shelf life if they are properly stored.
Braimoh began to experiment by drying fruit in a standard kitchen dehydrator, revising the process to get the right texture, taste, and colour. After a few weeks of testing, she started handing out samples at her church, offices and among friends and family. She was encouraged by the feedback she got and sought approval for her product from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria.
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