When it comes to AMA series (Africans Masterminding Africa), Handondo is big on our list looking at his impact in Zambia.
Frazer Handondo is a Zambian entrepreneur and the founder of Forest Africa Zambia, an agro-processing company that specializes in producing juices and other products from wild fruits. Handondo’s company is located in Chilanga, Zambia, and has become a leading producer of natural fruit products in the region.
Handondo’s interest in wild fruits began when he was a child growing up in rural Zambia. He would often spend his free time exploring the local forests and picking wild fruits. As he grew older, he realized that these fruits had the potential to be turned into profitable products. This realization led him to start Forest Africa Zambia in 2016.
“It was amazing how people embraced our products almost immediately,” the founder says.
In a recent interview with Jeanette Clark of How We Made It In Africa, Handondo discussed his journey as an entrepreneur and the challenges he has faced in building his business. One of the main challenges he faced was convincing local farmers to sell their wild fruits to him instead of selling them in local markets. To overcome this challenge, Handondo began offering higher prices than the local markets, which helped him to secure a steady supply of raw materials.
“We announced, through the local leadership, that we were interested in certain fruits and then began to aggregate as each household or collector brought the fruits to us,” Handondo explains.
Another challenge that Handondo faced was finding a market for his products. He initially struggled to convince retailers to stock his products, as they were unfamiliar with wild fruits and were hesitant to take a risk on a new product. However, Handondo persevered and eventually secured contracts with major retailers, which helped to grow his business.
Handondo’s commitment to sustainability is a core part of his business philosophy. Forest Africa Zambia sources its raw materials sustainably, and the company has implemented practices to minimize waste and reduce its environmental impact.
“When farmers’ crops fail, whether due to drought or flooding, the first thing that often happens is that they go en masse to cut down trees to make charcoal to earn an alternative income,” he says.
Handondo’s success with Forest Africa Zambia is an inspiration to other entrepreneurs in Zambia and beyond. His commitment to sustainability and his innovative approach to agro-processing have helped to create a thriving business that benefits local farmers and communities. As Handondo continues to grow his business, he is sure to inspire others to follow in his footsteps and pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams.
By Elijah Christopher