Fruit of the Nile penetrates border markets
Nile Natural Fruits Products Limited (Nile Natural) was started in 2006 as a family business. The company processes fruit pulp for juice making, specifically concentrating in mango juice. Emmanuel Ajedra has seen his business grow to a huge venture outlet in Arua District, Uganda. The factory has a capacity to produce 200 litres of pulp per hour. During the peak mango seasons, he processes 3200 litres of pulp.
The capital was sourced from his savings. He joined Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA) earlier in the year as a result of his long-time friend and confidant Manasseh Acidri who is also a member.
“This man does not give up easily, he visited me enough times and with every visit he tried to convince me to join the club, eventually I did,” notes Ajedra adding that Manasseh has been very instrumental in sharing agribusiness related information with him. Their over 10 year friendship has been a strengthening pillar for his business.
Ajedra has managed to get a number of partnerships. In April 2010, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute partnered with Nile Natural. In 2011, he managed to get a grant of USD4000 from Mango Fund which he used to acquire a new machine for the fruit processing.
In 200 kilometre radius of Arua, he discovered that there was ready market for the mango juice, with little or no competition. He therefore went ahead to capitalise on the feedback that he got from the community on the lack of a value added product in fruits. Since the area produces a lot of mango fruits, he cultivated a good relationship with the farmers to supply him with the ripe mangoes.
His main market are the special orders he gets but he also supplies the town supermarkets, groceries, malls.
He therefore increased route sales from Arua to Moyo Districts targeting Juba and to the North, Yei region in South Sudan. Ajedra also employed more staff to cater for the Chad, Central Africa Republic with DRC Congo being the last route. The viable commercial hub opened up sales together with the good infrastructure to the borders.
With the new markets, he has a team of qualified staff, graduates from the university specialising in chemistry, food science and technology. “To get it right, you have to get the right kind of expertise, quality is key for the success of the business.”
Apart from the interaction and free consultancy services he gets from interacting with the members, he hopes to acquire more knowledge and skills to help in growing the business. He would also like to interact with other AAA members in similar businesses across countries to gain exposure through educational tours and exchange programmes, interact with experts who can offer ideas and best practises, access financial opportunities in terms of donations, grants or loans with flexible interest rates and good repayment period plans.