Mrs Yemisi Iranloye, known popularly as the cassava queen has become an internet sensation after identifying an untapped business opportunity in her country. The Nigerian business woman owns Psaltry International – a company which processes cassava on a large scale.
Her company which operates with a network of more than 5,000 farmers has a production capacity of over 10,000 tons of cassava per year with a mind-blowing annual turnover of $12 million.
Additionally, the company has also made strides in the production of other derived products such as starch, flour, sorbitol. It produces over 10,000 tonnes of starch each year, optimizing the revenue base of the company.
Over the years, she has built a strong client base that includes Unilever, Nestle, Nigerian Breweries, Promasidor and a host of others, creating an assured market for the product.
Noteworthy is the fact that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of Cassava but the product has not received the required attention as other export products. Currently, Yemisi is not only changing the narrative about cassava but also motivating young Africans to venture into the sector and as well demonstrating the need for local production.
According to reports, she conceived the idea of commercializing Cassava after working as an employee in a firm which focuses more on Cassava production. Mrs. Yemisi tapped into her experience at the firm to pursue her dream of becoming one of the largest, if not the largest producer of Cassava.
She revealed in previous interviews that funding and sourcing of raw materials were a major challenge in the preliminary stages of her business. All she had was a piece of land. She presented many business plans and proposals.
Fortunately, she received funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) called the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) at a single-digit interest rate. The fund was used to construct the first factory with which she is doing exploits.
Many have applauded her sense of entrepreneurship and perseverance, and many have called on the government to give her all the encouragement she needs to achieve more production.