Across civilizations and cultures, encased meat has been a human staple. And while the origin of meat processing is lost in antiquity, it was in the late 1990s when the Smokie debuted in the Kenya retail market and has ever since gained popularity throughout East Africa and Juba.
The Smokie is a type of ready-to-eat smoked sausage that can be made of pork, beef, chicken, or a blend of all these meats and other flavourful inclusions.
The contemporary role of the Smokie fits conveniently into our modern lifestyles as some elegant snack rich in high-quality protein and is devised to please the palates of all income group thresholds.
Some of the very popular smokie dishes are smokie pasua and the smocha which is basically smokie chopped into small pieces, mixed with colesaw, kachumbari and wrapped with chapati.
The Smokie Business
Job creation being a crucial factor of production and an essential element of social cohesion, the Smokie has enabled Farmer’s Choice to create employment for over 500,000 Smokie vendors across the country.
While an average vendor earns about Ksh. 2,500 for every 5kgs of smokies; essentially, the resources needed to start a Smokie business will include a good trolley, a busy location, and a medical examination certificate.
Irene Wambui, a Kahawa West Shopkeeper cum Smokie Vendor evokes the delights of starting the business two months ago. While covid-19 has affected the overall Smokie sales, she underpins the business has enabled her to put food on the table for her family.
Having commenced the business with a capital of Ksh.10, 200/=, Irene advises other aspiring vendors to always conduct a thorough market feasibility prior to starting the business and to first invest in the smallest smokies pack whilst observing demand.
In addition to this Farmer’s Choice closely partnered with smokie vendors throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to make sure they continued to operate and complied with new sanitary regulations.
The vendors were given support in the form of educational training in a variety of settings, where they learned about basic sanitation and hygiene, such as how to wear masks and the value of social distancing, in addition to other safety regulations mandated by the government for food vendors. Additionally, FCL has given the vendors free masks and hand sanitizers in addition to subsidizing their smokie expenses.
Currently, thousands of smokie sellers are currently working with FCL around the country, and many of them are reporting major increases in income and better opportunities.