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Friday, October 15, 2021

Sira’s Spice: A Gambian chili pepper company making a difference in spice

In today’s episode of youths in entrepreneurship, we bring you the heroic story of two young Gambian siblings. Habib  Jobe and Jankey Jobe, the duo had founded a chili pepper processing  company to promote the cultivation of their product. 

Habib Jobe is the general manager of Heritage Holdings, a company that focuses on agribusiness, procurement and trade.

The chili pepper sachet company is named after their mother [Sira’s Spice] whose love for spicy food inspired them to set up the company.

The company, which processes chili pepper into powder sachet, started production in 2019.

“The country needs to have its own food processing systems that would be producing, processing and packaging farm inputs we consume,” he said.

He said the company is closely working with the Nema project, a project under the Ministry of Agriculture.

He said the Nema project is financing few women gardens across the country and most of these gardens usually find it difficult to sell their products.

“We also find out that most of the spices, especially sachet chili peppers sold at the market, are from other countries. This was how we approached Nema, we received a grant from Nema, through that we are able to start ” Jobe said.

Habib further expressed that his company is essentially empowering women vegetable gardeners, more specifically those into chili, “before it was a challenge for them since they could not sell their produce at the convenient amount they want, buyers and traders do play around prices. We work with them on contract basis, we negotiate and agree on a particular price with them and at a farm gate price so all they do worry about is the production and at the end of the agreed period which is guaranteed, their money is given to them. They don’t have to worry about post harvesting and travelling long distances to sell their produce which requires too much resources,” he said.

He said the market is a bit challenging, there are many foreign products that had been in the market longer than we have. “We  are gaining popularity  as we are serving our consumers with the excellent spice they need and we believe this is going to keep the company moving in The Gambia and for the Gambians.”

The company has recently employed five youths and wishes to expand and diversify not only on chili pepper but other casual products that could be processed, employ more youth and engage more women in gardening of those crops.

“Buying from us is like supporting a family, we are here to stay and whatever we gain is coming back to the country.”

He said the prices are pretty much the same as the imported ones.

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