Many Batswana are entering the localised maize milling production which is a rapidly growing sector in the country.
One of those is Mpho Orapeleng, who is amongst the growing number of woman entrepreneurs that have ventured into this kind of business.
Orapeleng’s Temo Boswa was founded in 2014 and got funding in 2018 from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development. However, it took almost a year for the company to acquire machinery, testing and getting ready for production.
Narrating her journey's experience to The Monitor, Orapeleng says she grew up in a farming family where they used to help their parents with gathering of crops, storing them for future use, and would use traditional ways to grind the grains, which was not efficient.
"It was a bit slower, time consuming and required a lot of effort to do, but produced small scales which was enough only for the family. This later on inspired me to open an industrial milling site which makes the job easier and produces on a larger scale," Orapeleng explains.
The main objective of Temo Boswa, she says is to simplify the grinding process and at the same time support local farmers by buying their produce.
The company produces wheat porridge (Boupi jwa korong) , sorghum meal, millet meal (lebelebele) Ntlatlawane and Mosutlhwane. It also packages the wheat grains (korong) , different types of beans like black eye beans, letlhodi
Temo Boswa competitors include the likes of Seboana, Amogelang, Dudu, Lemepe, and Atla sa Temo..
However, the company has launched new products into the market to fend off competition.
"We have new products that most of shops say it's their first time to have. Such products include Boupi jwa korong for kids and Boupi jwa Mabele for kids which are softened and tasty for small tummies," reveals Orapeleng.
The company’s first clients were individuals, mostly Barloworld staff who have been supporting the business.
Currently its products are sold at Square Mart while negotiations with other retailers to sell their products are ongoing.
"We see ourselves in the next coming five years feeding the whole nation and we want to work hand in hand with local farmers," she says.
Currently, Temo Boswa has four permanent employees and outsources casuals during pick period.
Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has also been instrumental in the success of the business as it assisted with the company's business plan. After funding LEA helped with business advisory and also provided market for their products.
"I urge the youth to venture into businesses and produce good quality products that can be competitive even in the external market. Let's follow businesses from our passion and we will make it," he says.