A new project aims to implement efficient and inclusive milk collection systems in Africa. This can help in provide a regular income and nutritious dairy products to millions of Africans.
The project ‘Africa-Milk’ wants to promote ecological intensification and inclusive value chains for sustainable African milk sourcing. The project is carried out by research institutes, NGOs and private sectors in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Kenya. They are working together with scientists in CIRAD (Agricultural Research for Development) and Wageningen Livestock Research in the Netherlands.
The incentive for this project is the fact that the majority of consumers in West and Central Africa consume milk powder because it is cheaper, less perishable and it is the only form of milk they have access to in the market. If local collection schemes supporting local milk sourcing are developed and used efficiently, they can provide regular income and nutritious dairy products to millions of Africans. The challenges in increasing the amount of milk sourced locally include those mainly related to low production, seasonality in production, fragmentation of production between small farms, collection costs and poor milk quality. Research will therefore focus on co-design and implementation of efficient and inclusive milk collection systems, in addition to intensive and ecological dairy farming systems.
Researchers from Wageningen Livestock Research will be contributing to the task on co-design of intensive and ecological dairy farming systems by identifying technical innovations related to feeding, farm management and manure management that are likely to increase farm profitability and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced per kg of milk. Training sessions and studies will be carried out to strengthen the skills of local stakeholders and to identify the opportunities for scaling out.