Solar Powered Milk Coolers
The innovation is a machine that keeps milk fresh for 3 days with an app. It is developed by a 29-year-old graduate dairy farmer in West Pokot county. The invention uses aluminium tanks act as cooling system which is connected to a solar panel. It also has a milk PH test kit, an automatic weighing scale and a customised dairy co-operative management system (application) called Maziwa Plus.
He said most farmers in the county were making losses due to milk going bad and other challenges related to record keeping in various milk buying cooperative societies. Many dairy farmers in the region use donkeys to ferry the produce and most of it ends up going bad along the way due to poor roads.
“I lose 1,200 litres of milk because of poor roads. We have been forced to hire tractors to transport our milk to the cooling plant but the tractors are not of much help because of the poor state of the roads,” says the farmer. These losses are a blow to farmers and there was a need for cooling on transit as huge segment of the dairy farmers can hardly afford standard milk cans. The challenge of maintaining fresh milk while on transit is what prompted him to come up with the solution that allows farmers to keep milk for maximum 3 days without going bad. This innovation is patented.
The Maziwa Plus app links the machine and the cooperative society. The app automatically collects milk quality and quantity data and relays it to the cooperative’s payroll after computing the monthly total collections and relays the same information to the farmer through SMS. The message contains farmers’ collection for that day, sum total collection for that month and equivalent pay converted using the current rate and an advance or loan that the farmer qualifies for. In case of milk spoilage, the app will automatically inform the farmer the reason for milk rejection.