IECD launched its dynamic ‘Transform’ programme to incubate entrepreneurs entering the food and juice business in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast. The scheme helps young people set up food processing units and trains rural business people.
In Cameroon, IECD promotes a project focusing on food processing in the fruit industry, with a focus on creating sustainable local jobs and creating wealth in rural areas. At the local Transform Centre, entrepreneurs are helped on their journey to create viable business models in the juice sector. Those on the programme have shown considerable promise: the manager of ‘Bonga Juice’ opened a new juice bar in March 2016 and created 25 full-time jobs. ‘AfricaBio’ also recruited last year and is now a regular supplier of juices to a major local supermarket. One SME at the Transform Centre produced more than 16,600 l of juice worth USD 30,700 in net sales.
In the town of Tiassalé, a town on the southern Ivory Coast, the same “Transform” project was implemented and 2016 saw the completion of IECD’s Transform Agro-Food Centre, which is also home to a business park and business incubator. 10 SMEs started their incubation journey and several farmers began a series of training sessions, focusing on farm management tools, good use of fertilizers and pesticides, quality control and best practices in pineapple and papaya production. The objective is to assist more producers to become reliable suppliers for local SMEs with better products. In total, 30 beneficiaries will be trained to launch and develop their own food-processing enterprise, 6 of whom will be fast-tracked through the business park incubator. 100 small agricultural producers will be able to sell their production to food-processing enterprises and 75 young people and women will start simple food-processing income-generating activities.