Mindful of the fact that the Pan African Institute for Development-West Africa (PAID-WA) has as its core objective:- sustainable development, the Food Processing Program was established as one of the
programs of the PAID-WA’s Vocational Training in Green Enterprise aimed at transforming the high quality yields from the PAID-WA Greenhouses into value added products. This aims at empowering the PAID-WA students economically by teaching them innovative ways of appropriately processing agricultural products with the view of facilitating their marketing and ensuring durability. These students are therefore job creators for themselves and others, thereby reducing unemployment rates. This program is useful to development actors and/stakeholders in economic agencies and rural councils to improve livelihoods and generate revenues as every interested member of the community is given the opportunity to benefit from it.
Objectives of the Food Processing Program
The objectives of the Food Processing Program are: To train the students with vocational skills in food processing as a tool for development and job creation; To help the students to develop business concepts with respect to food processing. To coach and mentor students on enterprise development and to follow up these students to enable them achieve their goals.
The scope of the program spans from national through international community activities and projects. Since the beginning of this program in February 2016, ten (10) students have been trained in different fields. All ten (10) students were trained in Tomato Processing specifically: Tomato Ketchup and Tomato Paste. Three (3) students were trained in Fruit Juice Processing specifically: Mango Juice, Orange Grape, Lime and Lemon Juices. This processing comprises a technique wherein products have a shelf life of up to one year. The Program recorded a success on multiple dimensions in that a student has already launched his fruit juice business barely one month after the training; and that PAID-WA was awarded a prize at the International Trade Fair which took place in Yaoundé.
A Collection of PAID-WA Fruit Juice-Healthy Living
The Yaoundé international trade fair
The trade fair organized in Yaoundé to run from the 29th of March to 9th of April 2016, was a good opportunity for PAID-WA to showcase the output of the Food Processing Program. The ten (10) day event brought together over 1000 exhibitors which included: new innovators, investors and market opportunists.
PAID-WA actively participated in this Trade Fair with her first products (the fruit juices) branded HEALTHY LIVING. A variety of these juices: Oranger, Lemon Spirit, Lime Zest and Grape Fruit Juices were exhibited. Though these products were just newly being introduced into the market, it recorded tremendous success with over 250 bottles sold within 3 days of the event. Also the stand received more than 1000 visitors which included: prospectors, ministries, investors, students, intents and whole buyers. Most of these clients sought to know where they could get our products with some indicating interest to be part of the next training sessions.
At the end, PAID-WA brought home a trophy for empowering the youngest entrepreneur in food processing, and we hope to sail to the highest heights with this positive vibe received just at the beginning.
Healthy Living Juices Exhibited at the Yaounde International Trade Fair
By Catherine Lekeya Foletia
Consultant for Food Processing
Coaching and Mentoring