By George Munene
Akimaa Africa is a food processing company that assists rural millet farmers earn sustainable incomes through millet value addition. The company based in Busia County sources millet from farmers to produce affordable, nutritious, and gluten-free millet bar snacks and cakes.
Founded in 2017 by food science and technology degree graduate Irene Etyang, the business as well sources honey from rural Western Kenya beekeepers. It has further still ventured into using sprouted millet, peanuts, and tamarind in the making of instant porridge.
The company supports over 100 farmers with high-yielding improved finger millet variety seeds.
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Its food options are targeted at health-conscious consumers, selling to them directly through theirFacebook page. Millet is a great alternative to maize and wheat flour-based products as it aids in controlling blood sugar. The soluble fiber in millet can help reduce the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is such a large risk factor for heart disease, meaning eating millet regularly helps keep your heart healthier.
Millet cultivation is gaining renewed popularity amongst farmers because of its versatility and it being easy to grow. Millet can be used in the making of bread, beer, cereals, and other dishes.
Millets are drought tolerant and able to be grown in arid areas. While around 4,000 liters of water produces one kilogram of rice, a fraction of that can be used to grow millet.