While most yoghurts are made from different types of milk, a Limpopo businessman has taken a very different route – sweet potatoes. Edward Kgarose, who has big plans for his company Kgarose Kgaros, has already received awards for his yoghurts which come in strawberry, apricot and banana flavours and are packed with nutrients.
Kgarose, who is from Ga Molepo, launched his business in 2016. This was after he completed his marketing management qualification in 2011 and joined the unemployment queue. He told Vutivi News that after having no luck finding a job for four years, he decided to attend business conferences with the hope of being inspired to become an entrepreneur. Little did he know that this would lead to a revolutionary product.
“Whenever I attended business summits, I would always hear government institutions encouraging members of the youth to go into agri-processing,” Kgarose said. Inspired by the state’s call, he produced his sweet potato yoghurt and has not looked back. Kgarose said that making sweet potato yoghurt was a similar process to making other kinds of yoghurt.
“After prepping the sweet potato, I blend it until it develops into a thin liquid. I… (add) 10% animal milk, and for the vegan range, I add 10% plant-based milk,” he said. “The cultures are added, and it then goes through a fermentation process of six hours. Once the fermentation process is complete, the flavours are added.”
Kgarose said he decided on sweet potatoes because of their nutritional value. “They are high in fibre, have a low sugar level and are a good blood regulator,” he said. Two years ago, he received the 2019 Youth in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award in the agri-processing category.
He was also awarded R50,000 when he took part in a magazine show, Making Moves, which promotes young and successful businesspeople in the country. “I was also given the chance to showcase my product in other countries like China, Egypt and Tanzania,” he said.
Kgarose’s goal is to produce his yoghurt in larger quantities and add more flavours to his award-winning formula.
“My dream is also to introduce my yoghurt to other markets internationally, but first I want to see my product on the shelves of local supermarkets so that many people can benefit from the nutrients that sweet potatoes offer,” he said.
“In spite of the fact that it was a laughable matter to many who thought that my idea was ridiculous, today I am laughing all the way to the bank.”