Meet Elizabeth Naroa, a 42-year-old entrepreneur from Alupe in Teso South Sub County, Kenya. The mother of five has transitioned from a dairy farmer to a yoghurt company owner.
She went into yoghurt production after realizing that the agribusiness did not have adequate marketing outlets for milk which was highly perishable. Farmers were losing a lot thanks to poor sales. And in her bid to add value to the milk she got from her farm, she started a yoghurt processing company on small scale from her dining room.
Seeing the potential in the venture she had just started and the need for more milk, she set up a dairy milk collection center to take raw milk from dairy farmers around her in exchange for money.
“I thought of taking advantage of the availability of milk by venturing into yoghurt making. I saw this as an opportunity for me to ensure that I could change my family life as well as provide healthy yoghurt for my family,” Naroa told Kenya News Agency.
When she started processing yoghurt for sale, she did not have a freezer. She borrowed one from a friend and employed three of her family members in the company. She also leveraged social media to introduce her products to Kenyans. Naroa produces her yoghurt under the brand name Creamway Enterprise.
Naroa caught the attention of Kenya Crop and Dairy management System (KCDMS) and she was linked to some financial institutions by the organization. Through KCDMs, she was able to purchase four deep freezers, which helped her to scale up production.
Also, KCDMs assisted her to register her idea and go through the necessary processes as required by the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS), the country’s standards and quality body and calibration. In addition, the organization provided her with coolers, pasteurizers, KEBS mark, processing house, Alco-gun and lactometer, disinfectant tank and sealing machines.
Creamway Enterprise now makes vanilla and strawberry and plans to introduce other varieties with different tastes and flavors in the future. “The consumers of our yoghurt products have varied tastes and their favourite drives our production line. We have had enormous feedback and this drives our production,” Naroa said.
She produces 50-250 liters of milk daily and now has some 10 employees in different departments including production, marketing, ICT and branding. According to Capital News, Naroa has now become a sought-after dairy expert in Busia County, where she is based. She trains locals and self-groups within the county.