Bringing Nutrition to Low Income Kenyans
Food Security and Nutrition is a key pillar of the Big Four Agenda, which was conceptualised by the H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to accelerate the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030 aspiration. Premium food products in the country are costly and the common mwananchi cannot afford most of these products in the market.
Realising that there was a gap in the market for nutritious and affordable high quality yoghurt, Binti Mwallau and Yussuf Juma were motivated to develop a product that catered for the nutritional needs of low income households. Hasanat Ventures Limited was born and they began producing Lazizi yoghurt in May 2019.
Binti says, “We ensure that our yoghurt is thick and creamy, because this is what the consumer deserves. It is a simple food for individuals who are constantly on the go and want a quick nutritious meal as it is quite filling.”
Yoghurt is known for its multitude of health benefits. According to Binti these benefits include, aiding digestion, slowing/ preventing an unhealthy rise in blood sugar for diabetics, it is best for lactose intolerance, it is rich in calcium which maintains healthy bones and teeth, controls blood pressure and boosts immunity among numerous other benefits.
Lazizi yoghurt is fairly priced at KES 180/ Litre. They hope to expand their outputs by producing cheese and mala (sour milk), which is a Kenyan favourite. The yoghurt was on an upward trend with visible profits. So much so that the team had invested a good amount into increasing their marketing efforts. Unfortunately, earlier in the year, the country was forced into quarantine by the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected multiple businesses worldwide. Binti says that sales plummeted and that Hasanat Ventures Limited, like most businesses, have suffered losses. What sets them apart is the willingness to keep strategizing and continuously work to pull through.
Despite this, they have been able to provide employment opportunities by hiring 6 full time workers. They hope to increase production output by hiring more staff in the near future. In addition, they are proud to be part of the solution in dealing with post harvest losses experienced by dairy farmers. With over 5000 farmers selling milk daily, it is quite common to have surplus produce in the market. Lazizi is a value added product that is solving part of this problem. This also has a direct impact on dairy farmers as the sale of milk adds to their overall incomes.
Binti and Yusuf came across the AgriBiz program, from a whatsapp group where the call for applications was circulated. Their expectations from the program are to receive assistance in their business processes and in developing and executing effective marketing strategies among others. AgriBiz, is a programme supported by the European Union in partnership with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), which aims to stimulate sustainable jobs for women and youth in the agricultural sector in Kenya.
You can visit their facebook page, www.facebook.com/laziziyoghurtkenya, to find out where you can purchase some nutritious thick yoghurt.
By Michelle Mung'ata