From a young age, Aldred always knew he wanted to be involved in social change; joining the leadership organization AIESEC and getting working with them on education and gender equality projects.
After recognizing that small scale farmers in Benin were incurring losses due to produce that was not making it to market on time, Aldred saw an opportunity to create value. He started Africa Foods Mill, a company that purchases local agricultural produce from smallholder farmers and transforms it into packaged convenience foods. The company’s product line includes pre-cooked cabbage, carrots and green beans, all of which are locally sourced in Cotonou and Abomey-Calavi and then sold to supermarkets in the area. As a result of his business, the smallholder farmers he works with have been able to limit post harvest waste and raise their incomes, while consumers are able to access high quality convenience foods at an affordable cost. Aldred hopes to expand the business and begin to package a wider range of vegetables and fruit—which will allow him to create as many as 120 direct and 600 indirect jobs.
In recognition of his company’s success, Aldred received the Best Business Plan Award from the Young People’s Chamber of Commerce in Benin.
Media & Milestones
In this year’s group of 20 fellows selected for the African Leadership Academy’s Anzisha Prize (presented in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation), there are four young entrepreneurs (hailing from Uganda, Kenya, Benin and Cameroon) who also firmly believe that the future holds promise for African agripreneurs.
The world’s population growth, coupled with rising income levels in many countries, will provide opportunities for entrepreneurs who can harness the inherent potential of the available arable land on the African continent.