The importance of dairy farming and its contribution to the economic growth of a country cannot be over emphasized. In most countries, dairy farming is not only seen as a source of nutrients for millions of consumers but is also an important source of income for farmers and plays a significant role in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of these countries.
Therefore milk, and dairy are an important subsector in the national economies of many developing countries.
However, just like any other industry, the African dairy industry faces many challenges resulting from a number of factors, one particular challenge that has gripped the sector is lack of cold chain facilities.
Emerging dairy sectors in developing African countries cannot cool raw milk on-farm due to the lack of reliable electricity. Often the quality of the evening milk is lost because it doesn’t survive the overnight heat.
This has resulted in low production of the commodity which in turn has affected the overall revenue that can be achieved once adequate facilities are put in place.
It is with this reason that AgriProFocus (APF) with the support of Heifer International and Postharvest Network commissioned a study to understand the challenges of milk chilling with solar power as a potential option. The study was implemented in Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.The request intends to address the potential economic advantage of solar powered chilling equipment for collection centres and the potential demand for such equipment in the said countries.
This is in response to such farmers suffering from low production, and poor quality milk, due to a lack of cooling systems.
According to the key technical and operational take away from the
preliminary assessment, the need for adequate cooling facilities that would substitute the dependency on electricity and provide off- grid solutions was pivotal.
Keep a look out for the final report.