Zimbabwe could cash in on growing interest in baobab powder

A woman carrying baobab fruits. (Supplied to How we made it in Africa by B’Ayoba)

A woman carrying baobab fruits. (Supplied to How we made it in Africa by B’Ayoba)

In a recent interview with How we made it in Africa, Rozelle Abramson, founder of the South Africa-based chili sauce producer Fynbos Fine Foods, highlighted the growing international interest in baobab powder – a boon for countries like Zimbabwe, which is rich in baobab trees.

Baobab powder, extracted from the fruit of the baobab tree, contains nearly four times the vitamin C found in oranges and is a source of essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

Zimbabwe is home to an estimated five million baobab trees, with roughly 3.75 million located on communal lands, presenting a significant opportunity for commercial exploitation. Gus Le Breton, an entrepreneur whose company, B’Ayoba, processes baobab into powder and seed oil for export, noted, “A conservative estimate is that we could harvest about 12,000 tonnes of fruit sustainably every year. At present, we are only harvesting 1,500 tonnes annually.” Le Breton was instrumental in securing European Union market approval for baobab powder in 2008. [Read our full interview with Gus Le Breton: Zimbabwe-based entrepreneur wants to create a global market for baobab products]

Abramson added, “All these new emerging trends – they start small and then people start putting them in drinks and in all kinds of food applications.” [Read our full interview with Rozelle Abramson: How a South African chilli sauce company broke into the American market]