Partners for Development

Are you tired of working for someone else? Do you want to prove that you can be successful on your own? With Mark Ling’s innovative new course, you will not only learn the do's and don'ts of ad marketing but you will also develop the skills, professional support and confidence to quit your 9 to 5 job. Mark Ling’s Quit 9 to 5 Academy program will train you to acquire expert skills, secrets, and strategies from non other than the legend himself.

Partners for Development

Success Story: Estelle Ahobade, a woman pineapple processor expanding into the regional markets

Mrs. Estelle Ahobade, Managing Director of the Zoe Rohi, pineapple processing company, a beneficiary of PINEX project in Benin

Mrs. Estelle Ahobade is a 38-year-old female pineapple processor located in the Municipality of Ze and well known in the regional market with her Jus Zoe brand.
In 2018, Estelle graduated from The National School of Applied Economics and Management as a Bank Affairs specialist. After two years in an international company as a junior staff member, she resigned and decided to create her own business.
In 2020, she noticed the breadth of pineapple post -harvest loss as an opportunity for business. Estelle decided to start processing the pineapple into juice to address that post-harvest loss. This is where her business story started, with Zoe Rohi as the name of her micro company in a small, rented apartment in Cotonou. With the assistance of her husband and children, Estelle ran her family business Zoe Rohi to grow. She wanted to scale up her production, but limited by the tightness of their apartment, the small size of the processing equipment she was using and the low running capital fund and access to fresh pineapple.
Estelle addressed the raw materials challenge first, by moving to a village in the Municipality of Ze where most pineapple is grown. Contracting with pineapple producers, Estelle could gradually increase her juice productivity and add more processing equipment. Once again, she was confronted with the lack of an outlet market to sell her products.
By confiding in one of her processor friends, Estelle heard of and got PINEX project contacts. PINEX was interested in Zoe’s business. Estelle and her staff benefitted from training in hygiene and processing best practices to meet quality standards for her juice. PINEX assisted Zoe Rohi company to obtain the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) certificate that gives her juice access to the regional market of 15 ECOWAS country members. PINEX gave Estelle the opportunity to take part her first prospective tour in Senegal.
Estelle’s foray into ECOWAS brought her a wealth of business opportunities to supply her pineapple juice to the Senegalese market on a regular basis. Estelle confided to PINEX that the Senegal experience opened and broadened her mind on the great opportunities in regional markets. Estelle has recorded a 40% increase in turnover thanks to PINEX’s support in marketing her products at regional fairs sponsored by PINEX. Zoe Rohi has sold 140MT of pineapple juice in regional markets valued at $99,200 in 2022. Zoe Rohi employs 15 staff including nine women. She hopes to become one of the leading pineapple processing companies supplying pineapple juice in West Africa and in international markets soon.

featured image

Credit Program Officer, Ferdinand Dahoueto is addressing participants questions on the quality of loan application. Abomey-Calavi, April 2023. Credit: Epiphane Adjadji, PfD.

On Wednesday, April 12, 2023, as part of the implementation of the Agricultural Lending and Access to inputs component of the PINEX project, Partners for Development (PfD) and the Federation of Agricultural Credit and Mutual Savings Banks (FECECAM-Benin) brought together 24 pineapple processors including 8 women’s companies, all beneficiaries of the PINEX Project. The training, which took place at the CLCAM Abomey-Calavi premises, focused on the composition and quality of loan application.
Based on the observation that many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises struggle to pass the application review stage with microfinance institutions, PfD initiated this information and awareness session led by FECECAM on the content of a loan application file. Participants were given a detailed explanation of the various components of the file to be submitted, the different types of guarantees, the facilitation of the National Agricultural Development Fund (FNDA), the importance of the professional card and the need to organize themselves into a formal company.

Translate »