What is Njoga?
(jo-guh) | jō • gə |
Njoga Investments Company was incorporated in 1983. At that time, the Coffee Board of Kenya did not issue pulping licenses to farmers with less than 10 acres of coffee. Almost all coffee farmers in Kirinyaga County were small scale, and did not meet the requirement.
Marclus Njiru wanted a pulping license but had less than 10 acres under coffee, so in 1982, he invited other small-scale farmers to join together to apply for the license. Out of all the invitees, only Bernard Makanga and Alexander Kariithi turned up for the meeting. The three resolved to register a partnership with the Registrar of Companies and jointly apply for the license.
That allowed them to leave the cooperatives societies, where because of their comparatively large crops (an average four sacks of kaua each per market day), they were put last in line for manual grading and weighing, which meant that on market days they would stand in line until midnight.
Next the trio looked for land for a coffee factory. They chose a plot owned by Dancan King’ang’i because the land was situated near a rivulet known as Njoga, from which the factory would draw water for processing. Dancan agreed to sell them the piece of land, on condition he would be a partner in the venture too, with his three acres. They were delighted and agreed.
They incorporated a company with equal shareholding for each of them and their wives (eight shares). They took out a loan from Kenya Commercial. They applied for the pulping license (membership No. CBK AJ 002 – the second in Kirinyaga County). After building, the coffee they sold was too little to sustain the operation. Again they met and agreed that each of them would increase their acreage. From the original 15 acres, they now had over 150 acres combined. Today Njoga has operations in both Kenya and the USA.