My name is Oforiwaah Kukuwaa Smith, a Food and Postharvest technology student under the RUFORUM CARP+ project and Chief processor at “Fruition Crushed”. Fruition Crushed is an Agro-processing company providing fresh fruit juice, dried chips and fruit leather to the Ghanaian market.
In October 2018 I attended the RUFORUM higher education conference in Nairobi, and one of the things that caught my attention during the conference was the RUFORUM young innovators award which comprises of young African entrepreneurs who are adding value to agriculture products and creating opportunities for other young people. The awards in Nairobi during the 6th Biennial conference were the second of the kind following the first awards in Cape town during the 5th Biennial Conference. I had the opportunity to interact with some of the young innovators and it was during these interactions that I realized that majority of them were into agri-tech, trying to find solution to challenges farmers faced. So when I got back to Ghana I thought through my interactions and I decided to establish something related to agriculture.
I decided to create a business from the mastercard supported project at the University of Cape Coast for which I was privileged to be placed. Working on the Pineapple Value Chain for my Master’s thesis, I saw first-hand the huge post-harvest loss and loss of investment by small holder farmers.
I then got working on a business model and started playing around with the idea of setting up a mini processing centre. I got some pineapples from local farmers which I then processed. Already I had some experience in pineapple juice production during my undergraduate studies, so upon the feedback I got from the sensory evaluation I conducted, I decided to go into mass production of the pineapple juice for events at the University, with in Cape coast and surrounding regions.
‘Fruition Crushed’ the company that I founded now provides solution to the average local farmer who would normally lose 50-70% of his harvested produce and also a healthy sensational juice, chips and fruit leather for consumers who purchase them for their households, ceremonies and various events.
Presently we have 5 small holder pineapple farmers in our portfolio that we source our produce from and these farmers are paid in cash before we get the pineapples from and have raised over $1000 in revenue over the past 14 months.
Consumers are able to simply place an order using WhatsApp and through our social media platforms.
I am poised to provide a healthy beverage and food for consumers while solving a key challenge of smallholder farmers.