Milk production is a key resource for smallholder farmers in East Africa. However, milk spoils quickly in a warm climate and the cold chain for milk is not reaching remote dairy farmers, resulting in limited supply of high-quality milk to dairy processors from a large portion of smallholders farmers.
In a consortium with SimGas, Mueller and BoP Innovation Centre, we are supporting the development and market introduction of the first biogas-powered milk chiller for smallholder dairy farmers in the region. This target group faces limited access to market for evening milk produce, as most farmers simply live too far from the milk collection centre. When delivering evening milk the following morning, farmers face the risk of milk rejection due to spoilage, which negatively impacts their income. Together with our partners, we have designed a milk chilling system that uses biogas energy through absorption cooling, supporting farmers to make their milk production more sustainable, and to increase their sales.
- The biogas-powered milk chiller provides a solution to this problem by cooling 10 litres of milk from 35°C to 4°C within 3.5 hours and as such complies with European milk cooling standard.
- The milk chiller capacity is tailored to the availability of surplus evening milk at smallholder dairy farms with 2-10 cows; a 10 litre capacity is sufficient to serve more than 80% of the target group.
- The milk chiller runs on biogas, produced from any type of domestic biogas system.
EEP Southern & East Africa supports the programme in the pilot phase, while the OPEC Fund for International Development will lower the investment barrier for the first 750 farmers in the upscaling phase. This is the link to the corresponding EEP Africa project site: Biogas-powered milk chilling for smallholder dairy farmers.