DAIRY I – REVOLVING FUND (2008)
MWIDEFU set up a revolving fund for 85 improved dairy cows to replace their low yielding (average 2 lt/day) local breeds with higher yielding (average 10 lt/day) dairy cows.
Old breed New breed
To qualify for a loan, farmers have to:
- Make a 40% down-payment on the cost of a heifer (TSh. 750,000),
- prepare paddocks as advised, and
- agree to follow recommended husbandry practices.
Farmers who qualify get a bank loan of TSh. 450,000 at 18% annual interest. After a 6 month grace period they repay their loans over 18 months. The farmers are receive veterinary services for pay. By the end of 2010, the number of improved dairy cows in Mwika exceeded 200 and the number is growing. Our goal is to raise per capita milk consumption in Mwika of a miniscule average of 200 lt per day to 600 lt per day, and to increase the share of pasteurized milk from 20% to 100%.
In 2010, Geoff Mathis, a large-scale dairy farmer from New Zealand, visited Mwika and spent much of two weeks visiting farmers and discussing dairy-farming. He concluded his visit with a lecture on simple practices Mwika farmers could follow to improve their milk output, for example:
- keep a regular milking schedule,
- get cows drink as much water as possible, the logic being “more liquid in, more liquid out,” and
- select feeds carefully from a wide variety available and to use silage to maximize milk output.
The lecture was attended by well over 200 farmers. At these farmers’ request, his slides have been translated into Swahili and made into a booklet for their use.
Milk deliveries to the processing plant for pasteurization has increased from 350 lt/day in 2008 to more than 800 lt/day by the end of 2010. Cottage industry style milk processing plant which pasteurizes manually in batch form can no longer handle the increased volumes. MWIDEFU therefore has initiated a follow-up project to expand its processing capacity.
DAIRY II – MILK PROCESSING PLANT AUTOMATION (2011)
Currently, the milk processing plant operates manually on a batch system.
Pasteurizing the milk in hot boiling water, then cool in cold water
The milk processing plant will be automated to increase its capacity from 800 lt/day to 2,500 lt/day. At full development, it is expected to handle up to 5,000 lt/day.
Dairy I and II Projects have been made possible with generous support from
the Hekendorf Parish in Germany
the Rotary Club of Moshi, and
the Rotary World Community Service and the Government of New Zealand