Nairobi News

General

JKUAT partners with Japanese noodles company

A global food manufacturer has partnered with a local university to set up a Sh500 million noodles factory in an effort to tap into Kenya’s diverse culinary habits.

Nissin Foods Holdings, world recognised for Top and Chikin (Chicken) Ramen, will start manufacturing noodles targeting the local market by 2015 as part of its partnership deal with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

On March last year, Nissin Foods had announced it had established an instant noodles business joint venture with the Juja-based varsity, the first of its investments in Africa.

Nissin will hold a 70 per cent stake while JKUAT will hold the remaining. The factory is expected to tap into the growth of processed foods in the Kenyan market.

The plant is expected to produce 70, 000, 72 grammes packets of noodles daily using locally sourced ingredients including sorghum, a move expected to generate income for the sorghum sector in Kenya.

Currently, JKUAT Nissin Foods supplies the Kenyan market from a subsidiary of Nissin Foods Holdings in India.

Nissin will offer two basic products: Nyama Choma and chicken.

“This will not only be instrumental in enhancing the university’s visibility in the world, but it would be critical in aiding Kenya’s food security predicament,” said JKUAT’s chancellor Prof Geoffrey Ole Maloiy.

The partnership is expected to bridge the gap between universities and private entities in realising Kenya’s development goals.

Kenya, known for Ugali as its staple diet, has been targeted by noodle and pasta firms because it takes less time for cooking.

Indonesia’s Indofood, manufacturer of Indomie, has found home in Kenya retail stores while South Korea’s Nongshim, the firm behind Shin Ramen and Shrimp Crackers, has announced it will introduce other products after a successful eight months into the market.

Also, Salim Group, an Indonesian conglomerate, is seeking to put up a noodle plant in Mombasa.

Last year, about 100 billion packets and cups were sold, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.