An entrepreneur in Kericho is repackaging the traditional Kalenjin sour blackened traditional milk 'Mursik' from the traditional gourds to conventional packets, opening new marketing frontiers for a milk that has been associated with the success of Kenyan athletes who are served with it upon return from world glory.
Kim Martins the managing director of Chesumot Limited that owns Ches Dairies say the repackaging has in part been informed by the need to give the milk a wider appeal among customers beyond the Kalenjin community. Traditional there has existed women with specific skills to make and ferment the milk including meticulously mixing it with Sinetwet, a ground herb that is gives the milk that unique taste and flavour.
Martins who owns about 80 herds of cattle says the demand for the unique milk has been so overwhelming that they have been forced to outsource from farmers in neighouring areas of Chepseon and Chepsir. The farmers there are eager to supply to Chesumot who pays them Sh30 per litre which is higher than what the other milk processors buy from the farmers. Once the milk arrives at Ches Dairies,it is placed in coolers for 30 minutes to let it cool and then mixed with sinetwet to give it the distinctive black colour and sweet taste. The milk is fond with many customers because it is believed to fight hunger fast. This is evident in the rising demand. In a day, the company packages 500 litres daily with a packet in the retail stores going for Sh45. “Our milk is getting popular each day, we even dont have enough milk to fully serve the demand,”said Martin.
“The difference between this milk and the rest is that if you boil it, you are going to get thick cream like milk just fresh from a cow,”said Jennifer Koech a farmer in the area. The milk is sold under the brand name Mursik. It is a common feature at welcoming parties and at the airports during the welcoming of Kenyan athletes, majority who are Kalenjin, returning home. The community believes it gives the athletes stamina on the pitch and replenishes them after the competition.