Meet Nigerian Cassava Billionaire, Yemisi Iranloye

By Balogun Kamilu Lekan

Photo: Facebook/ Oluyemisi Iranloye

Agriculture is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, yet only a tiny percentage of people practice it on a large scale to hit the real flesh of the business.

One of the few individuals who has profited from the business and is still making waves is Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, the founder and CEO of Psaltry International, a cassava processing company.

Yemisi is a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Minna. She bagged a first degree in food biochemistry in 1997 before obtaining a master’s in biochemistry and nutrition from the University of Ibadan in 2000. 

Oluyemisi started Psaltry in 2005. Before coming up with the idea of starting Psaltry, Yemisi worked as an entrepreneur who formulated food for diabetic patients, using wheat to make natural drinks. 

Photo: Facebook/ Oluyemisi Iranloye

Later, she opted for employment in 2001 at Ekha Agro Processing Ltd, a company that uses cassava to produce glucose syrup. While at Ekha, Yemisi headed several projects which exposed her to cassava and the hidden resources in the crop. 

Yemisi acquired her first plot of land, on which she later built her farm and factory while working with Ekha.

She worked with the company for ten years before leaving to start her own company, Psaltry International.

The astute entrepreneur has grown her company within ten years from 600 million Nigerian naira to over five billion naira (about $12 million) in revenue per annum.

Psaltry International Limited manufactures food-grade starch and high-quality cassava flour. It is also credited for opening Nigeria’s first cassava-based sorbitol factory. It also produces over 10,000 tonnes of starch yearly from its processing plant.

The company grows its own cassava and also outsources from local farmers to meet its required production.

Food grade starch has nearly 300 applications in the food industry, most of which beverage companies use for seasoning, noodles, and pastries. Sorbitol is a healthier sweetener than cane syrup and is used in toothpaste, pharmaceutical drugs, and high-end drinks.

Some of Psaltry’s clients include top brands like Unilever, Nestlé, Nigerian Breweries, and Promasidor, among others.


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