Friday, Sep 21, 2018
Agriculture | Africa | Gambia

Building a business from the groundnut up

7 years ago

Groundnuts for domestic consumption were first introduced to The Gambia in the 16th century from a Brazilian species
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In 2005 Anthony McNeill, a retired African-American cop from New York, left the United States to return to his roots and venture into Ghana – back in the days before the country had really hit the market as a fast-paced developing West African state. 

In Ghana, he saw the opportunity to invest in the groundnut industry, a difficult territory where inflation was making the price of this agricultural product skyrocket. However, by working directly with farmers, Anthony managed to control the price, bringing Ghana back to the forefront of the international peanut business, by exporting to the US and Europe and creating one of the biggest peanut oil and groundnut paste (peanut butter) companies in West Africa.

Now, six years after establishing his company Patriot Food, Anthony is hungry for more, and has decided his next adventure will be in The Gambia. As this successful entrepreneur explains, “The problem with peanuts from The Gambia is aflatoxin – a fungus that grows in the shells and attacks the peanut. Nevertheless, we are going to work with people in the field to fix this problem, and within three years we will start to sell this new variety of peanuts to the American, European and Chinese markets.” 

Of course, all this cannot not be done single-handedly; the investment climate must be attractive, and Anthony says the government has created an accessible and welcoming environment for international players, adding that he invites any investor with expertise in farming to inquire about Patriot Food in The Gambia. 

After years of hard work, Anthony has put his money on the peanut and is now harvesting the rewards, enthusiastically pointing out that, “Once we start, the Gambian market will be more aggressive than the one in Ghana.”


28/12/2011  |  0:33
That is great to hear keep the hard work up,.am happy for you man.
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