A team from the University- Industry Linkage & International Programmes Directorate held a meeting with the production and technical team from Mukurwe-ini Wakulima Dairy Limited (MWDL) at their boardroom on 19th January, 2021. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a roadmap on how the two institutions can actualise areas which they identified in a consultative meeting held on 11th December, 2021 at Karatina University.
Those areas that were discussed were;
The MWDL production and technical team were able to highlight what is very key to their firm and would like Karatina University to assist in achieving within their 2020/2021 financial year. One key area is on the need to extend yoghurt shelf life to three months so as to enhance MWDL market performance. It was agreed that in order to achieve this, the University would conduct a research into the possibility of extension of shelf life.
Coffee flavoured yoghurt having been the most recent innovation involving MWDL, Karatina University was challenged to think of a way they could also have purple tea flavoured yoghurt or even ways of coming up with other flavours like biscuits. This product differentiation would make MWDL stand out in the market.
It was agreed that, MWDL will provide equipment and machinery for pilot runs during product development, MWDL production and laboratory staff will be trained on manufacturing best practices and a market survey will be carried out.
Dr. Louise Ngugi from Karatina University and Mr. Charles Mithamo from MWDL were picked as team leaders for all these initiatives. Mr. Kamau, MWDL CEO assured Dr. Louise Ngugi that, Karatina University team will have access to MWDL laboratory and yoghurt production unit during product development phase.
Finally, co-patenting was the preferred intellectual property rights approach and at the right time Kenya Industrial Property Institute will guide the two establishments on how to go about it.
Charles Langat – Production & Quality Assurance Department.