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An encounter with a fruit processor.
Since we launched the website a few weeks ago, the campaign has been to develop skills and harness our talents. We have also explored areas, where we can develop these skills.
You can find more ideas here 👇.
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 in 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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