Ex-youth corps member grows N6,000 agro-processing business to N2.5m in 3 years

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By Philip Yatai
Kaduna, July 14, 2022 A 27-year-old Kaduna-based entrepreneur, Miss Henrietta Gimbiya-Barde, says she grew a N6,000
agro-processing business to N2.5 million, with six employees in three years.

Gimbiya-Barde told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) 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.

Gimbiya-Barde said that 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 some of the products to include white beans flour for akara, moimoi and gbegiri soup; 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; chili 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 the compulsory National Youth 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 the flair I have for advertising I began marketing a friend’s product who processed finger millet, got customers and supplied the products for a little token.

“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.”

Gimbiya-Barde said that she started with fonio grain blended with date fruits, ginger and cloves, a N3,000 packaging machine, 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.

“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.

“Also, a kilogram of wheat flour goes for 1,500, 1kg of white beans flour N1,500, 1kg of plantain flour N2,200, 500ml of chili spices goes for N1,200 while 500ml of ginger powder sells at 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.”

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.

Gimbiya-Barde, however, said that her inability to access needed capital had slowed her immediate goal of distributing the products across the 36 states of the federation.