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Postscript to 'Production of fortifed blended foods in Kenya'

We asked Peter Djikhuizen from WFP to comment on this article. He made the following points:

The successful exercise of establishing local factories for UNIMIX in Kenya was based on experience in local blended food processing obtained by WFP, largely with LIKUNI PHALA in Malawi. The success story in Kenya has been duplicated by WFP in India, Nepal, and Nicaragua with other countries to follow.

The product INDIAMIX is used in the Indian government's Integrated Child Development Project. The INDIAMIX project has three privately owned low-cost blended food factories with state of the art equipment prefinanced by WFP and repaid through a pay-as-you-produce system while manufacturing for WFP. It takes about half a year and 5000 MT to pay for the investment. The equipment consists of container based extruders and auxiliary machinery on a 'turn-key- basis'.

At present the capacity for local blended food production in Africa is several times the demand. Major companies exist in Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa with smaller ones in Uganda, Sudan, Eritrea and Burundi. The total capacity of these factories together is close to 100,000 MT per year. The total market at present for locally produced blended food for emergency and development activities by UN agencies, bilateral donors and NGOs is around 75,000 tonnes per year world-wide, with about half for Africa. Companies must produce other products apart from blended foods or have secure contracts for supplying blended foods to development programmes. If neither applies then companies will be in a highly insecure position owing to the wide fluctuations in the emergency market.

A largely unexplored market in Africa is the one for low-cost weaning foods for the lower economic sector consisting largely of urban wage earners. With child malnutrition rates in Africa in the 30% range, there is certainly a need for expansion into a low-cost blended foods market. Social research has indicated that products with a price around 2-3 times the cost of the staple food are affordable by these lower economic groups. If governments promoted such products through MCH systems, educational radio programmes and other information channels, the private sector could market the product through its retail outlets and markets. Such an approach would require that different private manufacturers act together and produce, under a common name, a product in co-operation with the government. Such a social marketing system had, until the recent civil unrest, been very successful in Burundi.

Finally, WFP is often actively engaged in promoting low-cost blended food production in countries where its programmes create a demand for these types of product.

View the article that this postscript relates to

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Reference this page

Peter Djikhuizen (1997). Postscript to 'Production of fortifed blended foods in Kenya'. Field Exchange 2, August 1997. p6. www.ennonline.net/fex/2/postscript2

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