An encounter with a fruit processor.
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How to employ oneself in Ghana
We are proud to host Hajara Musah to tell us how she has put her skills to good use.
Rhoda: Tell us your motivation for starting NASMA Fruit Juices.
Hajara: I love mangoes and pineapples. Anytime I go to the market I think about the many fruits that go bad and have to be disposed of. Once, it occurred to me to start making fruit juice for sale.
Rhoda: So, how did it start?
Hajara: With 10 cedis worth of mangoes, pineapples, and ginger, I started production in my kitchen using my domestic blender. That day, and subsequent weeks, I produced ten 250ml bottles that I sold at 2.50p.
Rhoda: What has been the setback?
Hajara: I started by selling to colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. Patronage was promising, so I increased the quantity of the fruits.
From there, I decided to try places where people might need juice. I started with a restaurant on the University of Cape Coast campus. I left samples. A few days later, the manager called that they liked the product. I was hopeful about my business because it meant more production. However, they were not going to patronize the product because it was not registered.
It was a big blow. I didn’t know what registering the products involved. I almost quit. Nonetheless, I set out to inquire about registration at FDA.
The real problem was getting money to register the product, getting a place for production, and obtaining production equipment. Aside from these, mangoes and pineapples are seasonal fruits. Getting them was going to be tough.
Rhoda: How did you deal with that?
Hajara: I took a risk to register the product, going through lab analysis and other protocols. Then I registered the business. After two years, my product was approved!
Rhoda: Well done. Can you tell us when you started?
Hajara: In 2018.
Rhoda: What is your success story?
Hajara: When I started up, I never thought I’d ever produce 500 bottles a week nor did I imagine I could produce different combinations.
Rhoda: Tell us how you arrived at these combinations.
Hajara: I started with pineapple and ginger juice, then I had pineapple and mango juice. Later, when the fruits were out of season I started ginger and natural spice drink. The newest product I introduced barely a month ago is hybis wine. As time goes on, I hope to produce other juice varieties that people would love.
Rhoda: Anything to share with us?
Hajara: Increased production means more hands. As a mother and full-time teacher, balancing the two has not been an easy undertaking. Getting people to help has been nearly impossible. Juice making is a skill I learned while growing up and it’s been a real privilege to use it as a side job. I am open to working with anyone interested in learning about drink production. I envisage increasing production to train more people.
I have learned in the last few years that to start a business, one has to bridge the gap between what people need and what you can give. It also involves taking a risk, without which one cannot achieve anything.
Our products are
We have small packs for children. A carton of 12 pieces for 59 cedis. (500ml)
We are located in Cape Coast, Ghana.
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