Installing solar milk cooling in a trial project in Tunisia.
Photo: © University of Hohenheim/Victor Torres Toledo

13.01.2017

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Researchers at the University of Hohenheim are developing solar-powered milk cooling for smallholders in Africa and strategic feeding for dairy cattle in Tunisia and Kenya. The projects are part of the “One World, No Hunger” initiative run by the German development ministry and are being implemented by GIZ in the context of the project "Sustainable Energy for Food – Powering Agriculture".

Smallholders in Africa often have only small numbers of cows and are not linked to the power grid. Lacking refrigerating, they can only market part of the milk they produce. This predicament is to be remedied by a new cooling system based on solar power as well as a strategic feeding concept both of which have been developed by scientists at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, southern Germany.

The research activities are two of three subprojects at the University of Hohenheim that are integrated in a larger project run by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 “Many small dairy farmers in Africa are far from having fully exploited the potential of their farms. In Tunisia, for example, 85 per cent of the dairy farmers have fewer than ten cows, they are often not linked to the power grid, and access to the markets is frequently restricted,” says Professor Joachim Müller of the university’s Agricultural Engineering in the Tropics and Subtropics department.

Together with Professor Karlheinz Köller of the Process Engineering in Plant Production department, Professor Müller is seeking options to provide special support for the milk value chain in Africa.

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