My name is Nkwatsibwe Adams, a 32-year-old food scientist in Uganda and a food-processing practitioner for four years. I am a pioneer in the breakthrough processing industry of East African Highland, cooking bananas into an energy-dense banana juice.
I am married to Immaculate with one child, named Noble. Born from a subsistence mixed farming family from Bushenyi district in Uganda, I opted to do agriculture at O Level and excelled with a Distinction one (D1) and later A-class at advanced level, before graduating with BSc in Food Science and Technology from Makerere University.
During this four-year work experience, I have risen through the ranks due to his extraordinary performance as a food scientist officer, a production manager, and then a business manager for banana juice production.
My company name is MAS Beverages, which will be located in Isingiro District—the leading banana-producing district in Uganda, which is the world’s second largest producer of bananas after India.
We plan to contract banana farmers to supply MAS beverages bananas on a fixed price throughout the year.
This will not only guarantee steady supply of our major raw material but also will assure farmers of the market for their bananas and price. Also, being in close proximity with the farmers, the by-products, like peel, will be recycled into banana plantations as manure.
Banana juice processing is highly profitable and hence sustainable. A 30 kg bunch of bananas that costs USD 4.5 yields 18 litres of juice translating to USD 15.48 at USD 0.86/litre.
Banana is a highly perishable crop and farmers incur heavy losses, especially in a bumper harvest.
There are a few commercial processors of this ‘green gold’ crop in Uganda. MAS Beverages, will reduce this loss by maximizing production during the bumper harvests and exploring East African regional markets that are not yet explored.
Processing bananas will trigger banana production in South Western Uganda, provide a nutrition beverage especially for school going children and provide additional income for rural farmers.
Five staff will be directly employed and over 20 farmers and other value-chain actors are indirectly employed.
MAS Beverages will train student interns, especially those doing agriculture, food processing, food science and technology, and any other related disciplines—at all levels—with necessary employable and applicable skills. It will contribute to reduction of an unemployment burden on young Ugandans.
Banana juice processing can start with a minimal level of investment. However, like any other venture, processing, quantity, and quality increases with investment.
For the success of this project, investment will be in the production and marketing departments. The production department will be responsible for linking with material suppliers, quality of raw materials, processing, packaging, and training. The marketing will be responsible for promotion, awareness, and products distribution.
All the financial transactions will be through the bank, i.e. no sales money will be used before it’s deposited in the bank account.
In preparation for the kick off of this project, having gained enough experience in processing this product, we have already designed two labels: one for the pure banana juice and the other for banana plus pineapple juice. We have also opened a Facebook group account for MAS beverages to prepare the minds of juice customers for the coming product.
My success will be measured in terms of the quantity of juice produced, approval by quality standards body, juice marketed, and market share.
USD 5,000 grant use
My major investment will be purchase of the juice extractor, pasteurizer, and a tricycle for marketing.
I will use the grant to buy raw materials and other inputs for production like packaging, labels, and preservatives. This bulk purchase of inputs will help us get inputs at a subsidized price and ensure planned production.
I will also use this money to make radio adverts and print product posters for product promotion.
Upon reception of the grant, production will start within one month.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Nkwatsibwe Adams (Uganda): nkwatsibweadams[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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