SNV in Ethiopia and Universal Plastic Factory PLC launched the commercialisation of the milking and transportation container (MTS).
Traditionally, farmers use clay pots, metal or plastic buckets, recycled jerry cans and bottles for milking, storing and transporting milk. This practice increases the risk of milk spillage and contamination as the farmers have to pour it from one container to another for storing and transportation. Most of these containers are very difficult to clean and are not made of food grade materials. To address this issue, SNV has introduced the Mazzican in Ethiopia.
The innovation - milking and transportation container
Mazzican (MTS) is a durable 10 litre food-grade plastic container that has a wide opening which makes it easy to pour milk into it. The wide opening also has made cleaning the container easy while the white transparant plastic enables farmers to detect dirt easily. A black coloured milk sieve that is distributed with the Mazzican has multiple purposes: it is a tool to detect Mastitis and prevents unwanted materials from entering into the milk.
Evidence from other countries also reveals some positive health outcomes from the use of Mazzican. For example, field tests conducted by Tanzanian researchers with CGIAR’s Livestock and Fish Programme in Mvomero District in Tanzania showed that switching from jerry cans to MTS led to a dramatic reduction of up to 76.3% in the levels of microbiological organisms present in raw milk samples taken from pastoralist farmers (Kurwijila L.R et al, 2016).
The development of the Mazzican in Ethiopia
After obtaining a licence in 2014 from the social innovation company Global Good, to manufacture and commercialise the technology, SNV signed a contract with Universal Plastic to manufacture the MTS in the country.
In May 2018, the Enhancing Dairy Sector Growth in Ethiopia (EDGET) project distributed 97,000 Mazzicans to farmers as a way of introducing the technology and creating demand. The private sector, agro-input dealers and processors, have played a key role in distributing the MTS as well as creating demand.
Hirut Yohannes, founder of the processing company Rut and Hirut Dairy, distributed 450 MTS to her farmers. The company has implemented a milk quality based payment system, and the Mazzican supports this model. “The increased income that farmers get as a result of the improved milk quality, encourages farmers to invest and start rearing cross-bred cows and increase their milk production” Hirut explains during the Mazzican launching ceremony.
The EDGET project participants have agreed on different mechanisms to make the MTS affordable for the smallholder farmer. Hailu Eshetu, from MB-PLC, producer of Family Milk, said Mazzican benefits the famers as well as the processors by minimising the rejection of supplied milk: the sieve prevents dirt materials from entering the milk. The company "will subsidise the milking and transportation can for its farmers once the price is set."
Director of the Dairy Development Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries - Tariku Teka, confirmed that his Directorate will create an enabling environment for the implementation of quality based payment systems for milk. This will be an incentive for farmers to improve quality of their milk and will increase production.
Mahlet Yohannes, Private Sector and Institutional Development Specialist at SVN, called upon key dairy value chain actors to work together to commercialise the Mazzican. Universal Plastics, with support of SNV, works to identify and contract private distributors. “We would like you in your own line of business to introduce the Mazzican” added Mahlet.