In Africa as well as globally, the demand for fruits and vegetables is increasing at the same rate as the rising population growth according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Losses in the food supply chain are however, predominant during harvest, post-harvest handling, storage, processing, and distribution stages. Almost half of all cultivated products are lost before they reach the consumption stage, necessitating the adoption of good post-harvest technologies.
Pure and Just Company Limited, located in Ghana, is a start-up founded by Yvette Tetteh and Emmanuel Ampadu,. It is a youth-led, agro-processing company that transforms fresh fruit from farmers into all-natural, tropical dried fruit snack products (dried mango, dried papaya, dried pineapple, and dried banana), sold domestically and internationally under the flagship brandYvaya Farm.
The startup emerged as a finalist during the2022 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition. Recently, theGeneration AfricaSecretariat team, led by Sophie Nabuliri and Amanda Namayi, visited the team at their manufacturing plant to learn more about their production process and their contribution towards climate-smart agriculture.
Pure and Just Company Limited minimizes negative environmental impacts by striving for a circular, zero-waste system that increases resource efficiency. The waste products that result after peeling fruits (i.e., their seeds and peels) are processed using the biodigester to generate biogas, which can then be used as a cooking gas or to produce electricity. Bioslurry, the liquid that remains after the bio-conversion, can be used by farmers as fertilizer to improve their land productivity.
‘’Agro-processing is uniquely well positioned to tackle climate change and global inequality. We enact social impact by creating economic opportunities for farmers and workers on the available processing jobs at our facility,” says Emmanuel Ampadu.
In Ghana, rural household poverty is estimated at 40%, while urban areas account for 10%. To address this, the startup purchases its products from farm communities to enhance their livelihoods and promote sustainable farming practices.
The start-up sells its products via more than 25 retail shops across Ghana and 3 online e-commerce sites (including its own, available at:https://shop.yvayafarm.com). The dried variety of fruits are also exported to Germany, UAE, Japan, and the USA.
The startup intends to increase its production for local and international markets. At the moment they process 1 ton of dried fruit product every 6-8 weeks, yet they aim to process up to 10 tons within a similar period.
Reducing post-harvest loss is key to ensuring food security.