In 2013, PHC’s small-scale fortification project, called Sanku, partnered with USAID’s Feed TZ2the Future program to expand rural maize fortification in Tanzania. The focus of the partnership was to support small-scale millers to comply with Tanzania’s mandatory national fortification law by supplying these mills with the much needed fortification technology (dosifier), nutrient premix, technical service and knowhow so that they could accurately mill a high quality product that ensures the improved health of at-risk communities throughout Tanzania.

The partnership successfully engaged 45 millers, installed 56 dosifiers throughout 6 districts, reaching approximately 150,000 people daily with fortified maize flour.

Since June 2015, and after the USAID Feed the Future program closed, Sanku has since scaled operations independently to work with 50 mills, installing 70 dosifiers across 10 districts, reaching approximately 250,000 Tanzanians.

As of August 2016, Sanku has also expanded regionally to partner on projects with Helen Keller International and GIZ in Tanzania, the World Food Program in Kenya & Mozambique, Technoserve in Kenya, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Malawi and Mozambique, and The Ihangane Project in Rwanda.

Sustained Business Approach

In order for Sanku to become a true turnkey solution, millers must choose to join the Sanku Team as a profitable business decision. It has been critical that the Sanku program look beyond simply the technological constraints that have faced small-scale fortification and place a strong focus on supply chain, country-specific policy and regulatory environments, and consumer demand. Without considering these elements, the program risks losing true sustainability. The current challenges facing small-scale fortification in Tanzania are as follows:

  1. National Fortification Mandate does not officially extend down to small-scale mills
  2. Sanku’s mills are fortifying voluntarily, causing compliance issues
  3. Millers who fortify cannot fully absorb the cost of premix since they are forced to compete with non-fortifying mills
  4. Without market demand, the cost of premix cannot be passed onto the end customer

Sanku is finding ways to make being on the Sanku Team economically attractive to Tanzanian small and medium scale millers. Ultimately, the program’s goal is for the millers to see Sanku as a valued partner rather than a vendor, and to improve the economic proposition to the millers by expanding our offering to include benefits that exceed the cost of fortifying (about $2,600 per year for a typical miller that produces 2MT of flour a day).

The project has focused on creating demand for fortified flour through social marketing at clinics and point of sale. Sanku also lobbies the government of Tanzania to pass district level bylaws that in affect will extend the fortification mandate to the areas where Sanku’s mills are active. This has also authorized the Tanzanian Food & Drug Authority to monitor compliance at the small-scale level.

Value Additions

Sanku provides economic assistance to millers as a business incentive to fortify through TZ3Value Additions, aimed to offset premix cost by reducing miller’s production cost inputs:

  1. Reduce their monthly power costs by performing an Energy Audit
  2. Reduce the cost of flour bags by grouping orders and souring in bulk
  3. Reduce the cost of maize, and increase availability and storage capacity

Sanku has the existing infrastructural capacity to source and distribute these value additions to millers ongoing, and by adding additional revenue stream such as flour bags and maize, Sanku will be able to offset the miller’s cost of premix by over 50%, and in some cases down to zero. This will enable the project to scale to reach close to 2 Million at-risk Tanzanians in 2017. Economically, Sanku will reach true sustainability by 2020, and ultimately scale to reach 10 million people in Tanzania alone by 2025.