A youthful Lilongwe-based entrepreneur, Ian Khonje, has set an impeccable record by producing delicious jam from baobab tree fruits—locally known as Malawi.
Khonje, who studies economics at the University Malawi, Chancellor College and is founder of Ian Khonje Food Processors (IKFP), told Nyasa Times on Thursday that he realized that Malambe which is consumed raw was being underutilized.
“There is much to the fruit that people are yet to find out. My business’ move to produce Malambe Jam is just an introduction to various other products we intend to usher to the food market.
“Malambe Jam is a product which we have introduced following an economic principle popularly called competitive advantage, which refers to the ability of certain countries to produce certain things at very less cost and hence profit greatly from them,” said Khonje.
According to him, they underwent research and discovered that the baobab fruit was only found in the tropics and so that gave them an advantage to use it in our production unlike other countries that would have to incur huge costs to obtain it.
“Actually, we realized the fruit is highly nutritious and tasty yet has very less investment in it. So we decided to benefit from it,” he said.
He added: “So far we are making progress in the manufacturing. We have the product and there is demand for it. We are trying as much as we can to reach far and wide so that many people have this product. Like I said, it is not our aim to only earn a profit from this product.
“Our huge drive comes from the thought that if we produce more of this product, we will have more people who have access to nutritious food. And that is why we will dive deeper in producing more of these products because in the end, we know we are improving people’s well being by improving their health.”
According to Khonje, the product is available in a number of shops across the country and insisted that customers shower them with feedback on how what they feel about Malambe Jam.
“We are not hard to reach. We can very easily be reached through facebook or through 0991 016 526,” said Khonje.