The founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Falama Incorporated has said that adding value to local produce could raise the income of producers and create a space for agro-entrepreneurs.
Madam Angie Howard made the disclosure to the Daily Observer on Tuesday in an exclusive interview in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.
Falama Inc. specializes in cassava processing. It won the “Business of Best Potential Growth Award” at the 2013 trade fair that was organized by the Commerce Ministry and partners in Monrovia.
The award was intended to expose entrepreneurs such as the Falama Inc. to business opportunities.
Madam Howard started her business as a family-size business enterprise in her home kitchen, but now the business has grown to a small-scale processing plant that creates cassava processing opportunities for farmers in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties.
“Our center can now process varieties of cassava including fortified farina, odorless fufu powder, cassava flour, and natural coconut water that are sold to local supermarkets and other partners,” Madam Howard said.
She added that the enterprise is also engaged in training farmers on how to process a variety of cassava products to increase farmers’ income.
On a monthly basis, the Falama Inc. processes five tons of cassava from farmers in the two counties. It currently has four permanent workers and 15 contractors.
The odorless fufu powder and cassava flour have export potentials, but will do so when the standardized laboratory that LADA is partnering on with government is improved.
Despite the ongoing progress she has achieved, Madam Howard said there are some challenges relating to packaging as well as meeting government’s tax payments.