Inspiring Start-ups: The fruit truck that came in handy during the pandemic


… the story of Citrus Truck              

For many people, COVID-19 remains the worst situation that could ever happen to them. But for Akwesi Boateng, the founder of Citrus Truck, even the worst of circumstances can result in something positive. Read on as he shares his story with the B&FT Inspiring Start-ups on how he began his fruit business.

Akwesi Boateng is a marketing graduate with a diploma in Business Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

Akwesi said his idea to start Citrus Truck – a mobile fruit, vegetables and healthy food shop – was inspired by COVID-19 when people were advised to build a healthy and strong immune system.

Citrus Truck

During the peak of COVID-19 in 2020, there was a rush for Vitamin C and other fruits, especially citrus fruits, that can boost the immune system. However, these essentials became scarce and experienced a hike in prices in major cities of the country.

Even before COVID-19, Akwesi had always bemoaned the situation where farmers lose chunk of their products to post-harvest losses, and how fruits are sold under unhygienic conditions and environments. So he had been contemplating on a solution that could end the problem.

“Among all current players in the fruit and vegetables and healthy foods distribution value chain, I realised that seasonal hawkers were the only channel providing convenience to final consumers by delivering to their doorstep at no additional cost. But the problem with seasonal hawkers was that they couldn’t provide consumers with the variety they require due to the size of their pans, and also fruits supplied weren’t hygienic.

“All other vendors weren’t providing consumers with the convenience and easy access to fruits in a timely manner; and even with their e-commerce route to market, it attracted extra delivery fees which aren’t ideal for most consumers and served as a barrier to getting easy access to healthy foods,” he said.

Realising this, Akwesi said the situation presented the right opportunity to drive an efficient route to market to reduce post-harvest losses through agro foods processing while providing the consumer easy access to healthy and hygienic fruits and vegetables at the most competitive prices.

Together with other like-minded people, he carefully planned how to go about the idea and how to embark on an agro commodity processing, marketing and distribution of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. As a result, the Citrus Truck was launched in March 2022, once they had enough funds.

“Our current operating model is different from the traditional healthy foods vendor because we are mobile, and provide our consumers with a convenient way to get access to a wide variety of healthy food products at a competitive price because of the efficiency in the route to market we operate.

“Our aim as a business is to drive a healthy food route to the market where we supply fruits, vegetables and processed agro commodities through our Citrus Truck. We currently distribute over 15 fruits and vegetables, and a weekly fruit boxes bundle get distributed door to door to homes every weekend.

“These include citrus raw & unfiltered honey, citrus seeds and powders, citrus dried fruits, and others. We also park Citrus Truck at convenient locations (bus stops like atomic junction and Adenta) and at churches on Sundays,” he said.


Citrus Truck’s vision in the next five years is to expand its processing capacity and distribute widely to reach other parts of the country.

It also hopes to harness benefits under the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to be able to reach more external consumers.

How education & experience have helped

Speaking on how he has leveraged education and experience to better position his business, he said: “My educational background has contributed to the success of the business so far, but largely my over 10 years of professional experience as a sales and marketing manager in three different Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FCMG) multinational companies played a key role in executing it to drive a much more efficient and effective agro commodity marketing and distribution company”.


The start-up holds that lack of support from policy-makers, mentorship and funding is a challenge to many small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We find it difficult to secure a post to position our trucks even after paying our business operating permits. I think there is a lack of coordination between policy-makers in our municipalities and the task force.

“Also, as an innovative business model, we find it rare in getting access to mentorship. So for most of our initiatives, we test to see what works and quit when it doesn’t work.

“And like every other start-up, we lack access to funding; and the high-interest rates have made it difficult to secure equipment to increase our food processing capacity,” he said.

How government can support

Akwesi is of the view that the best help for entrepreneurs, beyond funding, is a mentorship programme that will serve as a stepping stone to lessen mistakes.

“If we are to establish innovative businesses, we need access to information and thought leaders who can guide us in making the best decisions to reduce the chances of failure,” he said.

Advice for prospective entrepreneurs

“To every entrepreneur, I will advise that you persevere and push through with the vision even when you feel the odds are against you. Look at the impact your vision is making on your target market, and let that fuel your passion to push through. I say this because at this point in our economy, the country needs more innovative ventures to solve most of the societal problems while bridging the increasing unemployment gap,” he said.

Contact details

Instagram: @citrusghana

Tel: 0548026586

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