Making the most from your fruits
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CTA. 2007. Making the most from your fruits. Rural Radio Resource Pack 07/5. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57242
Adding value to indigenous fruits and how to make a profit.
Making the most from your fruits Cue: We all have our favourite wild fruit fresh from the tree. The seasons may not last long, but there are plenty of ways that farmers can preserve and add value to their indigenous tree crops by making delicious jams, jellies and juices for sale. Ismaila Senghore was lucky enough to follow the wild fruits of the Gambia to the factory just outside Banjul, the capital, where they are processed into a range of tasty juices. Gamjuice is the business. Isaac Thomas is the owner. He has been juicing fruits for more than 10 years. Having seen the squeezing, mixing and brightly-labelled bottles - and of course, enjoying a taste or two! Ismaila learns that that juices are not just good to drink. They are also good for the local economy. Can you talk with a processor or trader to find out what they do, and how they keep the fruits in good condition. IN: ?Yes, we have about ten people? OUT: ?not me alone but any juice maker.? DUR?N: 4?36? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: So when it comes to juices, the message seems to be ?Drink local!? for your own health and that of the local economy. Gambian juicer Isaac Thomas was talking with Ismaila Senghore. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Thomas We have about ten people on our staff and we have ladies because you know ladies too they are good at mixing and preparing the juice and this juice is like home made, it is not all the chemicals been added to it so they are good in preparing. Although they are trained, but they have their female touches and the like. Senghore You are not only producing for the local market but also for the international consumer market. Thomas Yes that is what we are doing. We are exporting, although a bit small, but we are exporting to our neighbour countries. Senghore Can you estimate the number of bottles that you export or consume locally here? Thomas I can say it is a small production factory and it is home made so we take our time. Senghore In other words they would be happy just to have a taster of what Gambian juice is like? These are the people you target? Thomas Those people that would admire our juice: hotels and restaurants. Senghore We see that you have a variety of juices that you make. Now can you itemise them? Thomas Yes we do all the local juices in the Gambia like Baobab juice, we do ginger, we do tamarind, and we do mango. So all our juices are foods that are available in the Gambia. And available in large quantities ? you just go to the market. And that will help the farmers. We are showing Gambians or showing the world that we can too, we can aim to do our own bottling, everything that has been produced and preserving it. Senghore Now as your name implies GAMJUICE, you are into the promotion of locally produced juices, as you just mentioned, by processing the raw materials to add value to them. How do you collect the baobab fruit? Thomas The baobab fruit, we just go to the market, and sometimes the villages will bring and sell it to us so we just buy it from them. Senghore Let us now come to the production of baobab juice. If you really want to go into baobab juice as you do it here, how do you start and how do you end. What do you do step by step to get the product that you require? Thomas Although there are some secrets in it but you have to extract the juice and you have to soak it, leave it for a while so that the fruit will be separated from the seed. And then you have to process it, heat it, so that the germs are eradicated and the like. Senghore To pasteurise it. When you get the pasteurised juice what do you add to it? Do you add anything to flavour it, sugar? Thomas No we just add sugar only because these are natural juice, they all have the flavours and the colour. It is more healthy than adding all these flavours and the like. Senghore You may also want to have labels on it for marketing purpose and so forth. Make it attractive for the market. Thomas Yes we do have that, we do have expiry dates which you can see on the labels. Senghore To start such a business, expense, that go into it, would it be very capital intensive? Thomas Yes it is a bit capital intensive. I started long years ago. I started as a small scale and now I am not in the large scale but in the medium scale. Bottles, the capping machine, they are expensive, labels are. So you need small capital. Senghore What about individuals who may want to go into such a venture. Would it be easy for them and what kind of capital would you for-see? Thomas The individual can go in for it. The only thing is that you know then you have to buy a lot of other machineries to enable you to do that. People should keep drinking local, healthy juices. They prevent you from a lot of diseases. It is natural, so it prevents you, it is a fact. So when you drink it you are healthier. Senghore Well I have just tasted your juice, the carbonated one and it tasted really, really nice, maybe you would want to tell people to also consume our local made products because it is a way of getting our independence from the multi-laterals that dominate the market ? isn?t it? Thomas Yes definitely I think that people should consume our local products. Because number one, it will help farmers over there so they are able to sell their products. And that will add to their health also. It is not like buying it but it is adding to your health. So that is what I would encourage the Gambians to go in and definitely patronise us the juice makers ? not me alone but any juice maker. End of track.