Food fortification is a proven and cost-effective way to add vitamins and minerals to staple foods. In Tanzania, however, up to 95% of the population (over 50 million people) do not benefit from these large-scale food fortification programs because they source their flour primarily from small-scale mills without the capacity to fortify.
Sanku provides fortification tools, training and other support to small-scale flour mills, enabling them to fortify their flour with essential micronutrients.
Sanku believes that small-scale food fortification is a major part of the solution to end hunger. In order to reach this goal, Sanku has developed a cellular-connected dosifier, which adds micronutrients that are scientifically proven to improve health into the food Tanzanians eat the most. Sanku’s innovative business model neutralises the cost of fortification, so millers can fortify their flour at no added cost to themselves or their customers, increasing access to affordable fortified flour.
Sanku’s goal is to reach 100 million people with fortified flour by 2030. To date, Sanku has already helped more than 600 Tanzanian millers to fortify their flour, feeding over two million people daily. With support from the scale-up programme, Sanku is expanding and aims to install 180 dosifiers across Tanzania, reach over 400,000 people with fortified flour and run its first pilots in Kenya, where malnutrition is a public health concern.
Sanku enables small scale, rural millers to sell branded, fortified flour at the same costs as standard flour. Sanku lends a patented machine that allows for precise dosing and remote monitoring.
By buying at scale, Sanku is able to offer millers fortification premix and branded flour bags for the same price millers currently pay for bags only. Sanku is a Life You Can Save Best Charity, was recognised by the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, The Elevate Prize Foundation and Time Magazine for its work to end hunger.
Brown Munyogwa is a 32 year-old miller in Kankonko district of Tanzania. He had stopped milling for a short while as the market seemed too competitive and not easy to gain penetration. Through Sanku’s dosifier for micronutrient mixing and the ability to fortify, he is now compliant and able to offer flour rich with essential vitamins and nutrients, creating a produce with better value on the market. “My mother is a nutritionist, so I did know about fortification, but I had no means or way to obtain the ingredients," Brown said. "Sanku has given me both the ability and access, and also added value to the flour I produce. I’m now able to get into the market with a product of high value.”
Joli is also a miller, and proud father of four. "I have been milling for more than years now and distribute the flour I produce around the Kigoma region in Tanzania and over [the border] into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well," Joli said. "Working with Sanku has been a privilege, and I have respect for the work they do. I know now that everyone in our community will have access to nutritious ugali and our children's health will improve. The ‘pink’ packaging material provided by Sanku has given my flour bags a brighter look and attractive appeal in the market that has caught people's attention and increased demand for them and for fortified flour. I’m certain that through fortification I will be able to increase my footprint in the DRC as well.”
To date, Sanku has already helped more than 600 millers fortify their flour, feeding over two million people daily. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the WFP Innovation Accelerator, Sanku has thus far signed up an additional 112 millers, across 15 regions in Tanzania, produced 4,431 metric tons of fortified flour, and reached another 280,000 people.
The goal is to continue to expand the use of fortified flour throughout Tanzania and beyond in East Africa, while increasing the capacity to reliably and cost-effectively supply millers with empty flour bags, which is critical to the sustainability model.
To reach the next stage of scale, Sanku needs more investors and donors. In 2022, Sanku aims to add 300 more mills to its network of mill partners, set-up operations in Kenya and expand to reach 4 million people. Sanku needs approximately USD 1.6 million in additional funding for this year’s expansion.
To access Sanku, visit: https://sanku.com