Gaborone – Donkey milk products from Botswana have become a hit in the United States.
Donkey Milk Industries exports skincare products, soaps and plain donkey milk, and indications are that the US market has been very receptive to the innovations.
According to the United States Embassy in Gaborone, Donkey Milk Industries recently sent its second shipment of products across the ocean under the US Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
In a statement, the embassy said: “Using indigenous ingredients and know-how, these skin products tell a story about Botswana that is touching people around the globe. This venture is truly an inspiration for all aspiring entrepreneurs-products developed and made in a corner of a small residential compound are now accessible to consumers across the world and they are receiving rave reviews.”
The first shipment of products was exported to the US in November 2020, and a second was dispatched recently.
Mr Johannes Vissage, the farmer and entrepreneur behind the products, said: “I have been drinking donkey milk since I was a little boy. Then I realised recently that I can earn a living through the sale of donkey milk. Since then I have never looked back.”
He initially tried to sell plain donkey milk but found the market was too small.
“I then approached the National Food Technology Centre and they recommended that I use donkey milk products for its nutritional and health benefits such as boosting the immune system and prolonging the user’s life,” he said.
From the time he started the business in 2018, he met many rejections and downright ridicule.
His perseverance paid off in 2020 when online retail giant Amazon agreed to give him space to sell his products, and now they have been registered with USAID Trade Hub.
The 60-year-old said since then, he has not looked back and he intends to create greater awareness of the products at home and abroad.