Time to Mango? Opportunities for Mango Related Investment in South Sudan
Updated: May 8, 2020
By Albert Kafilondi Pascal, Juba
At times I am often caught with the thought that ‘A person who solves a need is far better than one who fulfils a need’. I was at the Nile Riverside Port in Juba a few days ago when the mangos began to fall. Since I had headphones on and my eyes closed, I didn’t know the wind was blowing. All of a sudden I opened my eyes and to my surprise, people had gathered under the mango trees looking up in anticipation as the mangoes fell. I looked at my watch and it was 12:24pm. Being born in a mango producing region, I quickly remembered that during mango season people enjoy mangoes for lunch. The wind started again and the people ran here and there collecting their share of the free falling mangoes. Since the Nile was near, the majority sat by it as they washed and enjoyed their succulent fruit.
I have watched the mango season for the past month and three weeks. From this, all I can say is that ‘there is an opportunity for a Fresh Mango Packaging, Mango Juice and Dried Mango Chips Factory in South Sudan in the Equatoria Region’. With the presence of Juba Power Plant, a joint venture between our Government and Ezra Company, the issue of power supply has been partly solved though the standby alternative power source that has been made for such factories, since these factory machines do not consume too much power.
The Equatorial region of South Sudan has many mangoes during the season. Whilst many are sold locally, others are transported to non-mango producing regions. Despite this, a lot also go to waste. The waste is generally due to poor storage facilities and lack of large scale preservative methods by locals. In addition, many mangos rot in the bushes since they are not all harvested during the growing season. Although this has been a major challenge, I believe it can be turned into an opportunity by any investor who can fulfil these needs.
An investor who recognises this opportunity is in for a great rewards. Since mangos can easily be collected by through central collection points in mango producing regions, it is not difficult to transport them to factory areas. This is a cheaper way of collecting larger quantities of the mangoes in a shorter time scale. Moreover, it reduces the production cost of collecting the raw materials for investors. These collecting points could be situated in a way that there are preservatives for longer periods to ensure the survival of the mangos. Factories could be situated in Juba, which is well connected to these mango producing regions.
This would create grassroot job opportunities for locals selling mangoes, workers in collection points, drivers linking growing regions with factories and those employed in these factories. As the investors earns his returns, the citizens would also benefit from increased standards of living. Naturally, the government would enjoy increased taxation.
For an investor wishing for long term business in South Sudan, I would suggest a mango plantation in any area of the Equatoria along the Nile River. With the latest advancements in mechanised agriculture and agribusiness, it is possible to research the work required to ensure targets are met over a range of set parameters given the good climate of the Equatoria region.
One great thing about South Sudanese mangos is that they are not affected by disease. Mangos in South Sudan are so fresh that to bite on the fruit’s flesh leaves the mango juice running down your hand. Whether in the bush or within the towns, these mangos are disease free and look beautifully grown and ripe. Admittedly, this would require preservative mechanisms that ensures sufficient supply of the raw material to allow continuous production of the mango juice and mango dried chips, as well as selling packaged fresh mangoes. Such mechanism and equipment should also provide space for larger storage units.
Over the years, Juba has developed a significant population of mango consumers. This has only increased with the foreigners in Juba enjoying this succulent fruit. Investing in mangos could truly be great and well-paying. Eating fresh mango is as delightful as taking a cup of mango juice. Furthermore, providing dried mango chips is just as profitable as providing fresh mango, as well as mango juice. Using internationally recognised preservatives the investor can package and distribute mangos outside of South Sudan.In addition, the investor can also set up a factory plant to produce mango juice and mango dried chips and still make good money from this succulent fruit over time.
In conclusion, there is great opportunity to invest in a seasonal fruit and its associated storage, preservation and factory units.Whilst it’s true that any investor would require recognition and accreditation from the National Bureau of Standards, once this is met the opportunities are immense.