How can the livelihoods of small-scale farmers be improved?

Posted by Siddhant Bhandari on 25 Jun, 2018

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Biogas-Powered Milk Chiller for Small-Scale Dairy Farmers in Eastern Africa

Posted by Siddhant Bhandari on 25 Jun, 2018

In emerging dairy sectors worldwide, raw milk cannot be cooled at dairy farms due to lack of access to (reliable) electricity. Quality of (evening) milk is lost because it doesn’t survive the heat overnight. Low quality (evening) milk is rejected by collection centers. The resulting post-harvest milk losses at farm level are estimated at 30-40% (FAO 2003), creating a lost income opportunity for farmers and a growing gap between milk supply and milk demand. 

The Biogas Milk Chiller provides off-grid biogas-powered milk cooling on-farm, allowing smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity to store, deliver and sell the highest possible quality of raw milk and increase their income. This bottom-up approach is new to the dairy industry; instead of focusing on the top of the cold chain - the processors - the focus is on filling the gap at the bottom, where the problem originates: at the dairy farmers.

Small-scale dairy farmers with 2-10 dairy cows living in rural areas benefit most from the biogas-powered milk chiller. They will benefit by increasing their income from evening milk and save time and money on milk transport. For dairy cooperatives and processors our idea leads to more and higher quality milk collected. The cooperative reduces the risk of bulked milk rejection by the dairy processor, while the processor increases its sales of high value dairy products, like cheese.

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