Adeoya: Fruits Dryer Eliminates Waste, Creates Wealth
What is the principle by which the mango dryer works?
MANGO dryer reduces moisture content in food; after harvesting mango from the farm you take it to washbasin for washing. After washing you peel it after peeling and slicing then take it to trowel for dryer.
How long does it take for mango to dry?
It takes 20 to 24 hours for the mango to dry; you know it dries at low temperature.
What sizes and capacities of the dryers are available?
The one we installed in Niger and Makurdi they have the size of container because we use containers to fix them.
The one WAAP imported from South Africa can only dry one product at time but our own dryer dries more than one products at a time. Our own has different compartments. One can dry mango in one compartment and dry tomato in another. The products would not have any contact with one another. So, one can buy small size for less than five or 10 million naira because drying takes long time to dry in order to retain the nutrient value of the foods. Normal drying takes between 10 and 12 hours.
How does it help to provide employment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Young school graduates?
What we do is to reduce mango waste in West Africa. It would help them because a lot of mangos get wasted in Africa; one week after mango is ripped it begins to waste. So, instead of allowing the mango to waste they would be taken to factory and dried. It would reduce the waste and add value to the income of farmers.
About how much would be required by a young entrepreneur to purchase a unit as start up?
We are not only producing mango dryer, but we are producing multipurpose dryer that can be used to dry any other food. It can be used to dry mango, pepper, tomato and okro. To produce mango machine alone would not be good because when the season of mango is over the machine would no longer be useful. So, what we do is to make multipurpose drying machine in order to use it to dry other foods and agro products at low temperature. For someone to embark in such business the person would have at least 5 to 10 million naira for start up drying food plant.
What can you refer to as difficulty in starting mango dryer business?
I did not see any difficulty in it because the person is going to collaborate with WAAPP, because WAAPP is trying to assist people in terms technology and marketing. So, anybody that is going to start the business I do not see any challenges since it is not something you are doing on your own. It is World Bank assisted project. WAAPP and World Bank would guide the entrepreneurs in terms of training sections and how to package the products.
After drying the mango what will be the product?
The products would be mango chips, just like biscuits, as you go Supermarket to buy biscuit it is the same thing with mango chips. Instead of eating raw mango you can eat it as a snack it can also be used as concentrate. But WAAPP is tries to introduce one for human consumption.
How does this contribute to enhancing mango fruit chain?
It contributes very well because when mango season comes, after one week mango rips it would start to waste and to control the waste is a very big challenge. So, drying mango would add more money to the farmers and it would give them encouragement to go back and produce more mangos to the market.
What is the level of WAAPP’s support to Nobex?
WAAPP has not really helped us financially. We are into drying and milling technology. We have provided cassava drying machines to cassava industries in Africa, people who are in the industry are very familiar with us. We export dry machines to other countries and supply to Federal Ministry of Agriculture especially on cassava flour. So, it is going to enhance our business in terms of drying foods and agricultural products. Before, we only produced cassava drying machine but now, WAAPP has introduced us to fruits dryer machines. At least they have added value to our product because they have taken us out to Burkina Faso, to see their own dryers. They really exposed us to other country’s dryer machines and we are one of the mango platforms in Nigeria. It has made us to know that there is business in drying mango. WAAPP promised that when we finish replicating the machine and every thing comes out fine they would market our products for us. They also promised to stop importation of dryer machines in to the country in order to help us to market our own product.
What kind of experience did you have in Burkina Faso?
It is a tour study, we produce fruits dryer, so, when we traveled to Burkina Faso, I saw their fruits dryer most of them are made with woods, plates, galvanised among others. But such equipment cannot be approved by National Agency for Foods Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). I told them that wooden dryer would not work in Nigeria because of agencies that control the food industry, which include NAFDAC and SON. Most of their dryers are direct heat, which is not good for human consumption. We have experience in drying technology, we use inter changer to generate heat and hot air to dry our products. So we do not use heat directly.
From inter changer we suck in fresh air to get in the temperature we want and we blow it to the system.
What is your advise for farmers?
Farmers can get equipment through Bank of Industry (BOI) because if you have a good business plan, BOI would give you facility and equipment. If you have a good business plan BOI would assist you.
Like what we do for government provided machines for cassava flour, palp maize and others. We provide machines for Federal Ministry of Health.
Apart from mango dryer which other machine did you produce?
We fabricate dryer anything you want to dry such as cassava, pounded yam, plantain flour, fufu powder we design dryer for any agricultural products. We also produce machine for detergents. Many companies have benefited from us we have up to 30 companies benefited from us in Edo State, Ilorin, Ibadan, Bayelsa among others. We have other machines we want to export to the neighboring countries.
Can you say partnering with WAAPP has benefited your company?
We partner with a lot of research institutes like Federal University of Agriculture Abekuta (FUNAAB). We work with them through cassava development Programme so, WAAPP got our information from FUNAAB. We are the one providing drying machines for FUNAAB, so they invited us and made us one of the mango platform members in Nigeria. We have seen the opportunities in mango dryer business. It is a good business because mango dryer we produce we will export them to Ghana and you know that Nigeria has more mango than Ghana.