A Zambian, Mutoba Ngoma is one of Africa’s budding entrepreneurs that has made the 2016 Forbes list of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs under the age of 35.
After studying aeronautical engineering in the United Kingdom, Ngoma, the 31 year-old Zambian entrepreneur returned home to seek his fortune in the renewable energy business. He started Tapera Bio Industries Limited, a business which is focused on the production and promotion of biodiesel fuel and derivatives of vegetable oils. The company also processes vegetable oils into natural soaps, washing paste and organic shampoo.
Mutoba founded Tapera Industries Ltd in Zambia in 2009 by establishing a local small scale bio fuel business in Lusaka. The works with local restaurants to collect the waste vegetable oils as a waste disposal service, which they then clean and then process into biodiesel fuel and soap products. On average, they procure over 300 litres per month.
To date, his company has processed over 150,000 litres of used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. In 2014, the company was presented with an opportunity to procure jatropha curcas seeds from small scale farmers in order to process into biofuels. They have since set up a small scale farmers out grower scheme in Eastern province of Zambia where we intend to setup up a fully fledged farm to fuel biodiesel production site with a monthly capacity of 70,000 litres per month and over 200 Metric tons of biomass briquettes (environmentally friendly coal replacement).
To date, Mutoba’s company has signed up over 1500 small scale farmers on their out grower program. The company has a team of dedicated employees who are working with the farmers to manage existing jatropha curcas trees. The nuts produced from these trees are harvested from January to May annually and bought by Tapera Industries. These nuts are then transported to the companies storage points in preparation for processing before they are processed into Jatropha Straight Vegetable Oil (JSVO) and Seedcake.