18 December 2017

Liberia: Fighting the Odds - Young Agripreneur Produces Cereal to Combat Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a hostile force that is ripping off the lives of African children and stealing the joy of many African mothers.

According to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one in every five households in Liberia suffers food insecurity. UNICEF made the impact of malnutrition clearer when it reported that about 230,000 children under the age of five risk suffering from chronic malnutrition in Liberia.

Malnutrition is caused by unbalanced diet, underfeeding practices and sometimes low feed quality. It results in high death rates, reduces growth, and makes victims susceptible to disease attacks.

Amid these effects, 23-year old Elton Reeves has risen up to convince his community that true entrepreneurs are born to solve societal problems.

"When I read the report of UNICEF that said about 230,000 could suffer from malnutrition, I started to ask, 'how can we create a company that will provide quality and affordable feeding solutions?' This question led us to organize Mosh Food Incorporated," he said.

The two-month-old company collects produce from farmers to make local baby cereals that contain vitamin A, protein and carbohydrates.

"Currently we have one product that is made from organic rice [country rice] and benny seed that we blend to create the Munch Nutri Cereal," said Reeves.

Unlike some promising agripreneurs in the country who find it difficult to penetrate the market, the young businessman is already enjoying some level of success, disclosing that the reception of his product on the market is positive. "We currently supply the Pipeline Clinic and the St. Joseph Hospital but we intend starting active sales early next year," Elton disclosed.

The 23-year old is formulating creative strategies to eliminate his financial challenges, as he described bank loans as very "difficult to earn" for startup businesses in Liberia.

"Every entrepreneur knows the importance of finance but as a startup in Liberia, raising money through the bank is difficult, so we are working around this challenge by introducing our 'pre-buy' campaign that will soon be launched," Elton disclosed.

Despite social, educational, economic and health issues in the Liberian society, Elton urged Liberian youth to challenge themselves to solving the society's problems.

"As a young person coming up, what you should do is not just complain about problems but you should see problems as an opportunity to create ideas to solve them. While solving problems, sometimes people will not believe in your solutions until they see tangible effects, so all you need to do is start with what you have," Elton advised.


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