Geoffman Enterprises; home of the African bird eye chilli
Geoffman Enterprises Uganda Limited promotes the growing of African eye bird chilli for export to European Union markets. The company started operations in 2005 as a partnership firm between two brothers Geoffrey Enzama and Manasseh Acidri from where the name “Geoffman” is derived.
After conducting a market study and identifying its viability in the regional markets, the company diversified its business interests to value addition of chilli to powder oil, sauce and spices. They have dedicated gardens for the plantation of spices and herbs in order to have a steady supply of ingredients.
Working with over 5000 small holder farmers who are clustered into 135 Farmer Groups, Geoffman offers extension services, trainings in best agronomy practices, post-harvest handling and financial literacy. The company then buys, bulks and sells collectively the produce.
Manasseh Acidri joined AAA in 2011 and is grateful for the skills imparted to him through the business development trainings he has attended.
“The networking and linkages have helped in getting new business ideas and driving our products to new markets,” notes Acidri.
The trainings on business plan writing have enabled him to gain access to funding from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU). With the help of the PSFU through the support of DFID, he managed to acquire a processing plant. “We have been able to bulk our produce and export directly, cutting the middlemen costs.”
He is doing business with Hellen Acham Elungat of North East Chilli Producers Association (NECPA) whom he supplies chilli to, Farid Karama of Sulma Foods and Stephen Isiko of Flona Commodities in supplying fruits.
Acidri is optimistic that new members will see the benefit of being in AAA and hopes that the many success stories will arouse the interest of both old and new members. “I would also like to access more information and resource material that will be of help to the growth of the business especially in getting more funding opportunities,” he said.
He would also like to get exposure to other member activities through exchange programmes to learn and put into use the knowledge gained.
Apart from the chilli, Geoffman also trades in scotch bonnets, moringa seeds, spices and herbs, garlic, cumin, coriander and lemon grass.