Former Corps Member Grows N6,000 Agro-processing Business To N2.5 million In Kaduna

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A27-year-old Kaduna-based entrepreneur and ex-corps member, Henrietta Gimbiya-Barde, says she grew a N6,000 agro-processing business to N2.5 million and six employees in three years.

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Ms Gimbiya-Barde said in Kaduna on Thursday that her company, HIGIM Food Processing Company, processes and adds value to agricultural products for consumption.

She added that the company was a subsidiary of HIGIM Investment Nigeria Limited, established in 2019 to process agricultural products into consumable powder.

Ms Gimbiya-Barde said some of the products were blended with other nourishing elements to meet the nutritious needs of everyone, including people who want to gain weight.

According to her, the products are also good for people with diabetes, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, children, the aged and people with hypertension.

She identified the products include white beans flour for ‘akara’, ‘moinmoin’ and ‘gbegiri’; finger millet powder, also known as tamba; tom brown, wheat and plantain flour. Others, according to her, are fonio grains, also known as acha, blended with date fruit, ginger and clove; chilli pepper spice, ginger powder, and blended millet with tamarind for pap (Kunun Tsamiya).

She explained that she began the processing business with N6,000 in 2019 after completing her national service and grew it to a N2.5 million business in three years.

“After the one-year NYSC in 2019, I began searching for a job with little success, and the entrepreneurship in me began taking over. Because of my flair for advertising, I began marketing a friend’s product who processed finger millet, got customers and supplied the products for a little token,” explained Ms Gimbiya-Barde. “After a while, my friends stopped production, and I kept getting calls from my customers asking for the product. That was when I decided to go into the processing business since I already have a customer base.”

Ms Gimbiya-Barde added that she started with fonio grain blended with date fruits, ginger and cloves, a N3,000 packaging machine, a labelling sticker, packaging nylon and other basic materials that cost just N6,000.

“I sold the first batch of the product in two days and ploughed back the profit into the business and continued to expand by adding more products,” the ex-corps member noted. “I sell 500 grams of tamba and tom brown for N850 each; 500 grams of millet blended with tamarind goes for N750, 500 grams of blended fonio N1,000 while the 1kg pure fonio goes for N1,600.”

She disclosed that a kilogramme of wheat flour cost N1,500; one kilogramme of white beans flour cost N1,500; one kilogramme of plantain flour N2,200; 500ml of chilli spices cost N1,200; and 500ml of ginger powder cost N1,000.

“The products are certified by the National Food, Drugs Administration and Control, and we are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment,” Ms Gimbiya-Barde added.

The young entrepreneur said that apart from selling directly to individuals and supermarkets in Kaduna, she currently has distributors in Zaria, Abuja, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau and Delta. Ms Gimbiya-Barde, however, said her inability to access needed capital had slowed her immediate goal of distributing the products across the 36 states of the federation.

Credit: Kaduna Political Affairs

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