INMA LIMITADA enterprise is barely ten years old but it is already showing great potential to hold its own against other established entities both on the African continent and the world. Founded in 2015 by Miss Iolanda Almeida, who is the company’s current chief executive, INMA LIMITADA’s main area of focus is coffee processing and tourism industries.
Rich cultural heritage
The burgeoning coffee outfit operates from Ibo Island in Cabo Delgado province, one of Mozambique’s eminent environmental and strategic World Biosphere Reserves. The company currently supports 150 local coffee farmers and Miss Almeida has also added tourism to her portfolio tapping into the rich Ibo village heritage and story.
By profession Miss Almeida is an agronomic engineer with experience in local seed production. She also boasts a Master’s degree in local development and tourism management. Not only does she share her country’s coffee with the world but she also uses it as a cultural and heritage tool to preserve the local species and varieties of coffee such as Coffea racemosa Lour and Coffea zanguebariae Lour. She reckons the Ibo coffee is unique as it has low caffeine content as both its taste and aroma are unmatched. Just in one package we offer the local history and heritage, she says proudly.
Gold certificate award
Miss Almeida says the coral stone on the Ibo Island provides the natural and fertile habits for the coffee. She says the coffee has won several awards in recognition of its distinctive qualities in taste and aroma. Some of the accolades it received include the gold certificate at a food exhibition in Lisbon as far back as 1906. Miss Almeida says although most of the coffee is consumed locally, small quantity of it is dried and stored using traditional methods and sold beyond the Island where demand for it far outstrips supply. She says the annual harvest represents a special moment for both locals and tourists.
Developing local communities
Miss Almeida took it upon herself to promote and market the coffee at the local fairs and also ensured she supports the local farmers by buying from them. She says empowering and developing local communities particularly women in the entire value chain of the coffee industry is her key focus area. This, she says, helps contribute to the women’s own household income and the economy of the island in general. Miss Almeida says one of the challenges facing the local women is constant motivation to enable them to increase productivity. In addition, this will also assist them to enhance the growing, harvesting and processing techniques so that they can produce quality coffee that can compete internationally.
Acknowledging team support
Miss Almeid appreciates and values the support and contribution of her team members. They include the company’s web page manage who is a qualified architect and designer, the brand designer also a qualified specialist in marketing and communications and a roaster, with two with elementary level.
She attributes her entrepreneurial inclination to her curiosity, passion, and eagerness to learn new things. She also credits her father, who was a practising nurse, for motivating her early on in her life. Although she studied in in Maputo where lived she lived for a while, Miss Almeida always felt the need to return to Cabo Delgado Province to help contribute to the local development. As for the future, Miss Almeida says she plans to, among others:
- train the local farmers in the best coffee production techniques
- contribute to the local and traditional knowledge and cultural expressions protection at the Ibo Island; and
- constantly improve her business and employ more people (accounts, delivery staff and lawyer).