Claude Nikondeha’s Burundi Fortified Foods is a shining example of how a local entrepreneur can overcome supply chain challenges and distribution obstacles to create a thriving agribusiness.
The company, which produces fortified flour and other food products, has managed to seize emerging opportunities in the region by leveraging its deep understanding of the local market and building strong partnerships with farmers, suppliers, and distributors.
One of the key challenges facing agribusinesses in Burundi is the lack of reliable supply chains. Many farmers struggle to access the inputs they need to produce high-quality crops, and there is often a lack of infrastructure to transport goods to market.
To overcome these challenges, Burundi Fortified Foods has taken a multi-pronged approach:
First, the company has invested in building strong relationships with local farmers, providing them with training, technical assistance, and access to credit. This has helped to improve the quality and consistency of the crops, making them more attractive to buyers.
Second, the company has invested in its own processing facilities, which allows it to control the quality and safety of its products from start to finish. By doing so, Burundi Fortified Foods has been able to produce fortified flour that meets international standards, while also ensuring that it is affordable and accessible to local consumers.
Third, the company has worked closely with distributors to ensure that its products reach consumers in a timely and cost-effective manner. This has involved developing innovative distribution models, such as partnering with mobile money providers to enable consumers to purchase products using their phones.
“Most people who need our products can’t really afford it. So we’ve designed a good product with good packaging so that we can sell a good amount in the cities where people’s incomes are high enough to buy it. That will then give us enough margin to be able to give away to vulnerable communities. We haven’t yet reached a place where we are able to give away 50% of our production but we started with 5%, 10%, now we are up to 25%,” Nikondeha says during an interview with How We Made It In Africa.
By taking a holistic approach to its business, Burundi Fortified Foods has been able to overcome the challenges facing agribusinesses in the region and seize emerging opportunities. In doing so, it has not only created a successful business but has also contributed to improving the livelihoods of local farmers and promoting food security in the region.
Claude Nikondeha’s vision and leadership have been critical to the success of the company, and his commitment to creating shared value for all stakeholders serves as a model for other entrepreneurs in the region.
By Elijah Christopher