Kelvin Nthiga: JKUAT student Making Alcohol, From Miraa

Kevin Nthiga, a professional brewer from Meru County, has been producing various products from miraa since 2015. Despite his expertise, Nthiga is unable to sell his products due to the absence of a Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) standardization mark, which makes it illegal.

Nthiga’s product line includes juice, energy drink, gin, whisky, beer, and jelly beans, which he only showcases at exhibitions. He collaborates with different miraa farmers to secure the necessary raw materials, which he then processes to create his products.

However, Nthiga is limited to working with small quantities of miraa due to the restrictions on the production and sale of value-added miraa products. Despite this, Nthiga believes that he could easily scale up his production if given the opportunity, and that allowing miraa farmers to practice value addition would reduce the issue of second-generation alcohol.

Nthiga holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in food science and technology, and his products have attracted a large following. Despite not being able to sell his products, Nthiga continues to showcase his creations at exhibitions, hoping that one day he will be able to bring his products to the market.