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Kanybek company limited introduces a maize-based bread for consumers in South Sudan

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In South Sudan, 2SCALE, a program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) and implemented by a consortium of partners namely the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Bopinc, and SNV, is taking a pilot stance to address food and nutrition security in South Sudan.

As a program, 2SCALE is designed to incubate and accelerate inclusive agribusiness development in African Agri-food systems, an initiative that has led to the emergence of a partnership with a local bread processing company in Juba South Sudan.

Since 2021, 2SCALE has partnered with Kanybek General Trading and Investment company, a bread processor and agribusiness company based in Juba to develop nutritious and affordable maize-based value-added products. This novel and innovative product is meant to avail nutritious, yet affordable maize-based products to consumers in South Sudan, especially those at the Base of the Pyramid. Out of this partnership, two products have currently been developed, a maize-based bread, and locally produced maize flour.

To promote local maize production, Kanybek sources maize from smallholder farmers in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State and Yei in Central Equatoria State.

According to Mr. Alana Sebit Owot, the Inclusive Agribusiness Advisor and Country Team Leader for 2SCALE South Sudan, Kanybek has co-invested with 2SCALE to acquire two set of prototypes (a set of maize milling machine and a complete set of the bread oven) which are then main innovations used in the transformation of the products.  

He also explained that Kanybek works with a wide range of actors including smallholder farmers who are the main producers of the raw materials, aggregators, transporters, input dealers, and extension service providers in Agribusiness Cluster (ABC) networks to smoothen the supply chain coordination.

“We are very proud of Kanybek because they have achieved the main objective of the pilot, which was to avail affordable new bread product in the market. We appreciate the contributions they have exerted to achieve this milestone. This has and there is even an opportunity to do more in South Sudan”.

Mr. Alana challenged Kanybek to sustain the inclusive business idea by prioritizing the aggregation and off-taking of maize grain from the smallholder farmers which is one of the key terms of inclusion.  

Mr. Godfrey Kape, the Managing Director of Kanybek says the partnership with 2SCALE has led to a significant increase in production of bread compared to when they were doing the business without any external support.

“Before 2SCALE came in, we had one local oven, which was used to bake local, wheat-based bread. After the partnership with 2SCALE, we transformed our bakery, and we now have a modern oven. This new acquisition and the impact it has had on the business motivated us to acquire an additional oven apart from the one acquired though the partnership.’’

“Through the partnership, we now have plans of making cakes besides the new bread that we introduced in the market. 2SCALE helped us to develop bread which is a blend of maize flour and wheat flour, a unique product that has position us differently in the bread market in Juba.  I can confidently say that the partnership has impacted us positively”, he explained.

According to Kape, Kanybek currently employs up to 50 workers ranging from mill engineers, marketers, finance officers and distributers.

“Before we had 33 employees but now, we have over 50 staff working with us in the company. We now have a maize flour processing unit, and I am optimistic that as we expand, we will employ more youth through this partnership”, said Godfrey Kape.

Kape also called for involvement of other mechanized service providers to boost maize production by small scale farmers to meet the demand of the raw materials they need in their processing units.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kanybek Mr. Gai Ruai Manyang said, even if the partnership with 2SCALE is a pilot, he is glad that it has worked out and hope for more partnerships in the future with 2SCALE on different fronts.

“We are looking towards strengthening the food system in South Sudan by availing affordable maize flour and maize-based bread to the low-level consumers, this needs partnership like the one with 2SCALE.” Gai said.

“The new maize-based bread is our unique identity as Kanybek, and we are proud to be the first Company to develop this preposition in South Sudan. It’s a huge transformation in our business from the old wheat-based bread that the company has been producing for the past 15 years” added Gai.

Julia Duni is a retailer who has been in the bread business since 2001, he tells us about his experience with Kanybek bakery.

“Generally, bread from Kanybek is clean and people like its taste. Ever since I started buying from here, I have not gone to other bakeries since my customers are happy with the quality of the bread from Kanybek. As a businessperson, sometimes when I do not have cash at hand, Kanybek still gives me bread on credit and I pay later. The taste of their bread is what makes it stand out compared to bread from other bakeries.” said Julia.

Christine Alex Ladu from Kor Salim is another customer of the bakery.

“Since this bakery was opened, it has been clean, their workers disciplined and their bread tastes good. The quality has been consistent since I started buy, which is the reason I keep buying from here.” she says.

Davido from Hai Police is not just impressed by the taste of the bread but its size too.

“I have been buying my bread from this bakery, it stays open till midnight. The bread has a good taste, and its size is big compared to the others. The difference between Kanybek and other bakeries is that it has healthy products, and its size is reasonable”. Said Davido.

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