NARKA DAIRIES LIMITED
Founder: Kiisho Rosemary Nabimanya
Start Date: 2017
Location: Nakaseke district.
Social media handle: Business Focus: Milk Processing
Narka dairies limited is an agro-processer of milk with farms processing company in Nakaseke and Nansana. It was incorporated in 2017 and three years ago, the Agri-business was registered with UNBS and with the Dairy Development Authority (DDA). The agri-business is a member of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) which provided the company with five employees to help with production, accounts and quality management.
The Agri-business was birthed by its parent company – Narka investments Co. Ltd. With its roots in Nakaseke, a traditionally cattle-keeping area, Narka Diaries was started off as a women-led cottage community-based organisation with the goal of venturing into commercial production of milk products such as ghee that is traditionally reserved for women. Unfortunately, at its infancy stages, most of the milk always went to waste due to lack of buyers, poor storage conditions as well as poor handling.
‘When middlemen came into the market to make milk purchases from farmers, they too not only offered very low prices to the farmers, but also had an arrangement where one day of the week, they took all the farmer’s milk produce for free to encourage them to come back which was a loss on the side of the farmer,’ – Narka Diaries report
Having mastered this basic arrangement after operations had kicked off, a further step was taken and the Narka Directors facilitated Kagusyo Women Farmers’ Cooperative to acquire a 3500-litre milk cooler through support from National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS). Narka Diaries acquired a loan which enabled the procurement of a milk cooler, a processing plant of 500-litre capacity and a milk tank truck. With this acquisition, the company was able to upgrade from mere sale of milk to processing and value addition.
The company has 70 milking cows, and 600 farmers organized in two main cooperatives namely, Kagusyo-Katugu Dairy farmers (Ngoma) with a 3500ltr cooler, and Kagusyo women farmer’s cooperatives (Kabale) with 3500lts cooler.
The agri-business has four shareholders, 75% of whom are female. It also has collection centres in Ngoma and Kabale towns. The milk at Narka is sourced from a farmer cooperative group – Kagusyo women (a cooperative comprising 50 members). The Agro-processing company that uses about 500 litres of milk daily, produces milk, Yoghurt (vanilla, straw berry and bananas flavours) and ghee. Narka Diaries trains these farmers on milk quality, water harvest and value addition to grass and pasture. The farmers chill the milk using coolers that were donated by NAADs in 2012 and 2014.
Like any other Agri- SME in Uganda, company is faced with challenges that include high tax rates and testing fees that make the fixed costs so high; lack of equipment to meet the required capacity; and, lack of operational funds.
Due to the potential exhibited by the dairy industry in Uganda and a dairy sector growth, Narka has embarked on growing its market share in the industry by boosting its processing ability. This is expected to tremendously increase output and help meet one of its objectives – economically empowering the milk farmers in the rural countryside.
Narka Diaries hopes to construct a factory and furnishing; procure high-quality cows with milk rich in fat content, acquire production machinery and equipment, and procure distribution milk tanks and freezer trucks. The company’s vision is to be the leading producer of well-branded pasteurized milk, Yoghurt, ghee and Ice cream within and beyond East Africa.
To realise its goals, Narka uses current access to the market through company-owned retail outlets, supermarkets as well as direct supply to institutional clients. There is a plan to increase these outlets and introduce milk dispensers, which will enable consumers to purchase milk in quantities to commensurate with their finances. There is also a deliberate effort to source skilled personnel and aim at a satisfactory compensation plan to attract, retain and motivate farmers. The company also hopes to increase household incomes through employment – improving financial inclusion for women in homesteads, and, reduce environmental degradation through model training in modern methods of farming like afforestation and using hay and silage.