About Us
Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited is an award winning food processing business based in Nairobi, Kenya. The business is primarily involved in milling of nutritious porridge flours that are sold in the Kenyan market. Stawi began as a banana flour processing business in 2011 where it processed and packed banana flour for sale to national supermarkets. The company later diversified its products to offer two new instant fortified porridge flours (Nurture Junior and Nurture Family).
Our Story
Stawi Foods enables small-holder farmers in Kenya to earn higher incomes on their produce. Stawi Foods is making an effort to reconnect society, and provide genuine benefit to surrounding communities. In providing a major buying culture change, Stawi has called time on the model where middlemen served their own interests leaving farmers exploited and poor.
How we began:
To create sustainable growth, banana farmers in Meru, one of the largest banana producing regions in Kenya, needed buyers willing to purchase their produce at responsible prices. It was the same cycle over and over. Farmers would invest heavily in banana farming, only to end up disappointed by an oversupply in the market or poor pay by middlemen. We thought farmers deserved better.
Middlemen were profiteering at the expense of the farmers because of the low market prices caused by an oversupply of bananas to the market during harvest time. Stawi Foods believed this situation required a shift.
Partly due to the shadow cast by bananas not being available all year, they usually become cheap during harvest time and expensive in the dry season. Furthermore, the volatility in price was dangerous for bananas, as it was a crop used to avoid famine and served as food buffer in times of scarcity between cereal harvests. Due to this, thousands of farmers remained poor as a result of waste and poor yields from their banana harvests. Lack of storage and processing facilities, bad roads and poor access to markets, also did not help matters.
Stawi Foods was looking for ways of providing a market for small-scale farmers and increasing the shelf life of bananas, which would rot in farms, especially those belonging to farmers who could not reach the collection centers set up along the tarmac road on market days.
The farmers held their breath for many years, as a large percentage of the bananas harvested in Kenya either got rotten, wasted or never got sold. Several farmers are left teetering on the brink of poverty, as they suffer serious losses as their produce go to waste or was sold at throw-away price.
We have been strong advocates for Kenyan businesses to engage in value addition, and not just concentrate on selling raw products that can be later processed, only for us to import what we had in the first place as unprocessed raw material. The food processing industry is critical in providing a market for farm produce, creating employment and curbing rural-urban migration. Value addition promotes the export of finished goods rather than raw materials and earns the country more foreign currency.
Our Products
Nurture Junior
Nurture Junior is a precooked and fortified porridge flour that contains adequate supply of protein, carbohydrates, energy, minerals for infants and children. It is the perfect choice for parents during and after weaning as it contains all nutrients a baby needs during early growth and is easy to prepare.
Nurture Family
Nurture Family is a precooked and fortified porridge flour that is formulated to cater for the nutritional requirements of the whole family regardless of age or gender.
It is made of a blend of whole maize, millet, sorghum, amaranth and fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is enriched with sweet potato flour.
Unripe Banana Flour
Stawi banana flour is a free-flowing product that contains resistant starch and is made from unripe, green Cavendish bananas. This product does not contain any preservatives or additives.
Common Applications: Nutritious weaning mixes and supplementary foods, snacks, bakery and pastry industries.
Pregelled banana flour can be used for the instant-food industry as thickener and stabilizer in foods such as puddings, custards, soups, sauces, gravies, pie fillings and salad dressings.
Natural Resistant Starch Flours
Stawi Foods manufacturers a range of natural resistant starch flours that are ideal for baking, pizzas, soups and pasta. These resistant starch foods help people stay fuller longer because they are not as easily digested.
That means people who eat resistant starches (even unknowingly) are more likely to consume less calories over the course of one day. Also, resistant starch helps people burn fat while avoiding fat storage, according to several studies; it also boosts metabolism.
Natural resistant starch foods also help diabetics manage their condition by decreasing glycemic response and increasing insulin sensitivity. It increases the growth of healthy bacteria in the lower gut, just like its fermentable soluble and insoluble fiber cousins. Still more research suggests that resistant starch contributes to digestive, brain, kidney and eye health.
Social Impact
Farmer Support
Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy, and improving private, small-scale farms is essential to a broad-based, poverty-reduction strategy. Overall, 75 percent of Kenya’s population derives at least part of their livelihoods from agriculture. Agriculture accounts for more than half of Kenya’s GDP.
At the same time, only one-fifth of the country’s land is suitable for farming, and productivity remains low. Most farmers work without modern seeds and technology or adequate financial or extension services.
Stawi’s processing activities have a direct and indirect impact on thousands of smallholder farmers in Kenya. We cut across several value chains including bananas, maize, millet, sorghum, sweet potato, amaranth, wheat and soybeans. Our aim is to break the cycle of poverty among smallholder farmers who remain poor despite being in farming for decades.
Helping farming families increase production in a sustainable way, and sell more crops, is the most effective way to reduce hunger and poverty over the long term.
When farmers grow more food and earn more income, they are better able feed to their families, send their children to school, provide for their family’s health, and invest in their farms. This makes their communities economically stronger and more stable.
Agricultural development must also address gender disparities. In Sub-Saharan Africa women are vital contributors to farm work, but because they have less access to improved seeds, better techniques and technologies, and markets, yields on their plots are typically 20 to 40 percent lower than on plots farmed by men. Addressing this gap can help households become more productive and increase incomes within poor families.
Stawi's Agroprocessing Business creates employment for youth and smallholder farmers. This is in line with the vision of value addition. The increased household incomes eventually lead to povery eradication. We aim to be a major employer of smallholder farmers and rural communities.
Food security and improved nutrition
Stawi's products are nutritious foods that will contribute to improved nutrition for consumers for instance children who will consume our foods. Our efforts of supporting farmers to produce raw materials, processing and marketing the products will overall contribute towards food security in the country.
Awards and Recognitions
CNN feature on the African Start up Program
Stawi was featured on CNN in January 2014 as a promising company that is impacting smallholder farmers in Kenya and creating jobs for youth.
Top 30 under 30: Africa’s best young entrepreneurs, Forbes Africa, February 2013
Stawi founder and CEO, Eric Muthomi was honoured in February 2014 by Forbes Africa Magazine as a Top 30 under 30 entrepreneur who is making a great impact across Africa.
National winner in Nature Challenge Africa, World Wide Fund for Nature, wi.December 2011, Nairobi, Kenya
Recognition was received for positive environmental impact of Stawi Foods and its potential to create employment opportunities for Kenyans while reducing post-harvest losses.
National winner of Jitihada (two) National Business Plan Competition 2012, Kenya Institute of Management, June 2012, Nairobi, Kenya
Stawi Foods won this award because it had enriched several banana farmers in rural Kenya whose abundant produce would otherwise have gone to waste or sold at a throw-away price to brokers. The business idea of turning bananas into flour was unique as it incorporates value addition, commercial viability because of its scalability, food security promotion, employment provision to Kenyans and markets for surplus agricultural produce.
Winner in the Enablis Business Plan Competition 2011, by Enablis East Africa, October 2011, Nairobi, Kenya
Eric was the top winner in the agro-processing category in this competition because his business idea for turning bananas into flour would improve food security, reduce post-harvest losses, create incomes for farmers, create jobs, and support Kenya in achieving Vision 2030
Mr. Kent Libiso - Chairman
Kent has over 27 years of Local, Regional and International experience in Management. He is a renowned Management consultant specializing in business strategy and has served on Boards of both Local and International companies.
He has served as a Senior Consult/Advisor in several African and European countries and Consulted a few Fortune 500 Companies. He is a past Chairman of the Board of the State owned Venture Capital Organization ICDC.
Mr. Eric Muthomi - CEO
Eric holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He also has a certificate from the prestigious United States International University Nairobi where he was awarded a Certificate in Management and Innovations for Agribusiness Entrepreneurs.
Eric has also has a Certificate in Enterprise Management. Eric has received four awards for his outstanding work including an international award by Forbes Africa for Top 30 under 30 best young entrepreneurs in Africa.
Sangu Delle - Director
Sangu is a Havard graduate with the highest honors in African studies and Economics. He is a recipient of the Thomas hoopes prize, Reverend Peter Gomes Prize amongst many others. Sangu has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Valiant Capital Partners.
He is the Founder of an investment holding company, Golden Palm Investments (GPI) to fund promising start-ups that can have social impact and generate jobs.
Contact Us
+254 020 2426083