Bonolo Monthe: Co-Founder and Managing Director

Multi-award winner Bonolo Monthe is one of the founders of Maungo Craft, and its Managing Director since 2017. Before this, she worked as an independent consultant at Top Talent Solutions from 2014 to 2017, and was General Manager of News Beginnings, a company specialising in personal growth and empowerment workshops, from 2008 to 2012.

Bonolo has won several awards and prizes, including the Agro-Processing category in the 2018 NEPAD SANBio FemBioBiz Programme, and the 2019 Generation Africa GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. She has also been appointed a member of the steering committee for the UN Secretary-General’s 2021 Food Systems Summit Multi-Actor Food Systems Champions Network.

Bonolo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science from the University of South Africa and has completed the Mandela Washington Fellowship. She is also taking part in the 2021-2022 Master of Business Creation (MBC) programme at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, USA, a programme offered with support from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to founders of companies who are looking to grow sales and attract investors.

Olayemi Aganga: Co-Founder and Head of Production

Olayemi Aganga is one of the founders of Maungo Craft, and Head of Production. He holds a Master’s in intellectual property law, and has worked as an attorney for more than seven years in both private and public sectors, including as a government lawyer in the office of the Attorney General of Botswana.

In addition to his position at Maungo Craft, Olayemi is also an advisor on indigenous food legislation and Secretary of the Producers Association of Botswana Natural which promotes the growth of this young industry based on natural and indigenous products that has the potential to change lives, create climate-friendly jobs and diversify Botswana’s economy.

Bonolo Monthe

CEO, Maungo Craft

Business Location: Garabone, Botswana

Type: Limited Liability Company
Year of Founding: 2017
Number of Employees: 10
CEOs: Bonolo Monthe and Olayemi Aganga

Business Model

Maungo Craft’s aim is to rehabilitate forgotten crops, such as morula, and integrate them into Botswana’s food habits. It also works towards tackling the lack of food diversity and the use of “orphan” (under-researched and under-utilised) indigenous crops in the food system.

Maungo Craft was created to use the abundant and under-utilised morula fruit, which is very common in Botswana. In this way, the company addresses the issue of food waste, as well as creating employment and helping to combat climate change.

The food manufacturer works along the entire value chain in two industries: (i) it produces artisanal jams, preserves and sauces by up-cycling indigenous African fruits; and (ii) it distributes morula to processing companies producing cosmetic oil.

The founders saw an opportunity in processing the fruit into both jam and oil, which is prized by the cosmetics sector. So Maungo Craft started to distribute morula to oil processors, and to use of the fruit pulp after oil has been extracted from it to produce jam. Since its creation in 2017, the company has established symbiotic relationships with local fruit farmers and the cosmetics sector.

Maungo Craft has invested in the niche market of processed indigenous fruit, which has the potential to become a major industry. The company is currently established in the local market, and also supplies hotels and restaurants across Botswana.

Strong Relationships with Smallholders

Maungo Craft has a strong relationship with local smallholder farmers supplying indigenous fruit. The company currently works with two farmers’ groups covering 100 hectares, whose members are 40 years in average and 90% of whose members are women. Maungo Craft aims to create jobs for around 1,000 harvesters.

Products and Markets

Maungo Craft produces handcrafted, low-sugar jams, marmalades and hot sauces by combining indigenous fruits and spices. Most of the jams are made with morula, a fruit rich in oleic acid and antioxidants, and which contains eight times more vitamin C than orange.

All the products are Fair Trade certified.

Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans

Maungo Craft has won several awards with cash prizes, which financed new production equipment and premises. Its Managing Director also developed tools to develop the business, and improved her skills in finance and pricing by attending numerous training programmes.

Maungo Craft is looking to increase its production capacity to reach 0.0013% of the jam and hot sauces global market by 2025, which will represent US$1.59 million. The company also aims to broaden its market and to supply new markets in Africa, the USA, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates. To do so, the company is working on an export and marketing strategy, and is looking to buy new equipment to increase its production. Access to finance and distribution channels is also needed, including to buy items such as labels, bottles and shrink sleeves.

Success Factors and Lessons Learned

Maungo Craft has won 13 awards both locally and internationally. It has been placed first at the 2017 Youth Business Expo for the Food Processing Sector, the 2017 Creative Business Cup Botswana, the Agri-Products Manufacturer of the Year 2017: Botswana Farming Awards, the 2018 Botswana Pride Award, and the 2018 BoFINET SMME Innovation Award. Maungo Craft was also awarded a gold medal at the 2018 World Marmalades Awards in the UK.

In 2019, Maungo Craft won the Pan-African GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition against 3,000 African businesses, with a US$50,000 cash prize. This allowed Bonolo, Managing Director, to present how Maungo Craft tackles current climate and societal challenges at the Xynteo Exchange in Oslo. The company was also the first Botswanan food company to be invited to the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

The impact of Maungo Craft on the promotion of indigenous under-utilised foods and waste reduction has been acknowledged by the appointment of Bonolo, Managing Director, as a member of the steering committee for the UN Secretary-General’s 2021 Food Systems Summit Multi-Actor Food Systems Champions Network.

Maungo Craft is also seizing opportunities opened up by the COVID-19 pandemic to broaden its product range. The company has developed a roasted chilli, garlic and morula sauce based on a client’s demand for his own customers. This new product has been very successful.

Additional Resources

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