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Business News of Friday, 24 June 2022

Source: punch.ng

Agro fabricators partner processing firm to boost output

Farmers file photo Farmers file photo

A fruit and agricultural processing company in Nigeria, UtterlyYum, has partnered with local fabricators of agro-processing equipment through investments that will sustain improvements in the quality of homegrown alternatives compared to imported industrial fruit and food processors.

According to a statement, the inadequate patronage of locally sourced agricultural technology has continued to negatively impact on the economy and value addition efforts, costing the country about $3bn a year as most entrepreneurs, manufacturing companies and the government mainly rely on foreign-produced machinery.

The Founder, UtterlyYum, Shola Adekoya, said support for Nigerian-produced machinery was one of the core tenets of the UtterlyYum brand.

“We have had to make innovation a core part of our culture. For instance, instead of building traditional cold rooms that cost millions, we turned discarded cold truck boxes into the cold room using cool bot and regular air conditioning units.”

The company had recently launched three new products which make use of an innovative, locally fabricated machinery, to optimise the manufacturing process.

Adekoya said, “While gearing up to begin production of our new pineapple and coconut juice, dried pineapple and coconut and our dried fruits and nuts, one of the challenges we faced was that of the time between when we develop products and lead time for machinery import. I decided to turn it into another import substitution opportunity which was a gamble, and I met a local fabricator who showed me what he had done in the past.”

“The partnership resulted in the creation of a fully functional coconut processing machine, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is also energy efficient.”

Adekoya hopes to share the innovation with other local producers to assist them to attain comparable levels of flexibility and efficiency.

Stressing the necessity of sharing innovation to benefit the local manufacturing industry and UtterlyYum’s plans for the future, Adekoya said, “For now, what we have done has been to help ourselves and people around us, I will rather these types of sideline opportunities be made available to the society at large while we focus on our core mission which we believe holds a lot of value that we will unlock.