Good Health

Internet of Things technology and fortified flour; the ingredients to save lives

Rural Tanzania



Hidden hunger

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2 billion people in the developing world suffer from a condition called micronutrient deficiency, otherwise known as ‘hidden hunger’. Whilst they have enough to eat, their food lacks the minerals and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet. This is not helped by the fact local mills in developing countries do not have access to fortification methods that could improve the nutritional value of their grains.

Boost my mill

Sanku is a company dedicated to changing this with a machine of their own invention, ‘the dosifier’. The local millers can easily attach the dosifier to their existing equipment, get it up and running in minutes and use it to add nutrients to over 1 metric tonne of flour per hour. Sanku turned its attention to Tanzania, where under nutrition is responsible for a third of all child deaths and by 2017 had installed 150 dosifiers across the country, reaching half a million people.

Remote control

Using Vodafone’s Internet of Things, Sanku added a piece of kit called a ‘cellular module’ to each dosifier, allowing just one Sanku manager with a smartphone to remotely monitor up to 100 mills in real time, even in the most distant areas. This meant that help was always at hand if there was an issue such as a machine breaking or flour running out and fortification no longer had to stop. Sanku also introduced Vodafone’s M-Pesa mobile money service so the millers could safely send and receive payments on their smartphones.

Flour power

Vodafone’s technology has allowed Sanku to expand its business in a major way. Dosifiers are now installed and operational in five East African countries, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique, with a goal to reaching 100 million people by 2025.

“My daughter Euodia would get sick a lot and this used to really scare me as my sister and cousin both died from malaria. Their bodies weren’t strong enough to fight the disease. What upset me the most was I knew that the food I was producing for my daughter and selling to the community wasn’t healthy enough. Sanku was the answer to my prayers! The best thing is they bulk buy the flour bags they sell to me, so I’m not paying anything extra for the nutrients. After just a year Euodia is like a different child, she has so much more energy and gets ill much less. Now even her skin shines.”

Salome, miller, Tanzania

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