Innocent Piloya was born and raised in rural area of Gulu at the peak of the Lord Resistance Army war and throughout her childhood, her family practiced farming on many levels for food and income. As a young person she became passionate about agriculture and this inspired her to pursue Agribusiness Management Undergraduate Degree. What she learned inspired her to set up an agribusiness social enterprise of her own through which she aimed to solve the challenges that her family and farming community saw while she was growing up.
Now Innocent is the founder and Managing Director of Anyadwe Foods, a Ugandan company that produces, processes and packages health food products sustainably sourced from local farmers in rural areas. Anyadwe products include coffee, hibiscus, chia seeds, cashew nuts, dried fruits and vegetables.
Innocent told us that “Our customers struggle to eat healthily amidst their tight schedules. We help our customers by providing them healthy food products that can be easily incorporated into their daily diets.”
She expanded her story telling us how “We face the challenge of accessing funds to scale up as a small business and fluctuating prices of inputs are an important factor for us.
From a social perspective the Anyadwe approach is bringing to the industry personalization products and services. Innocent clearly understands that everybody’s relationship with food is personal to them and approaching individual customer needs as they come in is the enterprises’ major strength.
Innocent is very proud of “Our social aim which is to empower rural farmers through our innovative products, we believe that ethical and sustainable sourcing from farmers shall increase their earnings and hence their livelihood as a community. We want to change people’s perceptions that healthy eating is to lose weight. Though healthy eating leads to one having a healthy body weight, we want to show people that healthy eating should be a lifestyle and once it is a lifestyle, all the benefits like a healthy body weight, boosted brain, better moods, wellness and immunity support can be arrived at.”
Another aspect of Anyadwe Foods social approach has been to participate in events to ensure a clean environment in Gulu, organized by Takataka plastics. They also educate our customers about how to dispose or repurpose Anyadwe’s packaging. In the near future, Anyadwe will partner with Takataka plastics as a recycling partner for our waste materials. The enterprise will also work with supplier farmers, training them to practice climate smart agriculture and have composting that utilizes their garden waste while improving yields.
Anyadwe is building it social media presence by engaging with their customers and the community through events and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and twitter. Using many different route to market their products Anyadwe is currently focusing on coffee while if continues to grow the business by adding other locally sourced, sustainably farmed products to the range.
The origin of the name Anyadwe is very interesting. The whole name means daughter of the moon. Anya = daughter and Dwe = moon. It means someone or something beautiful. Local people gave the name to Florence Baker the wife of Sir Samuel White Baker. He was a 19th century English explorer, officer, naturalist, hunter, engineer and abolitionist.