In the dairy market, the BIF2 project found that
- Farmers have low milk productivity
- Farmers have to make do with low quantity and quality of feed because of overgrazing on the limited pasture lands due to expanding cropping activities, urbanisation and seasonality of pasture availability.
- Farmers have poor access to water for their animals due to most of the water bodies on the grazing reserves not being maintained and silting up
- Farmers have low quality breeds because most of the indigenous breeds of cattle in Nigeria like the Bunaji, Rahaji and Sokoto Gudali are mainly beef breeds.
- Farmers have limited knowledge of good dairy production practices in the areas of milk & milk hygiene, herd health management protocols and feed & feeding of dairy cattle.
- Farmers receive a low price per litre of milk
- Farmers receive a low price due to its high spoilage rate post milking, due to improper handling and preservation practices.
- Farmers have poor storage facilities and lack access to cold chain services.
The BIF project managed to pilot, and eventually scale-up, the commercial production of Napier grass in collaboration with pastoralist communities. This resulted in an increase in pastoralists’ access to higher quality feed, consequently increasing their milk yields and also creating a sustainable income source for local cooperatives who would sell the Napier grass seedlings. This works well during the rains when there is an abundance of water to grow the grass. We introduced the palletization of this fodder and processing into silage in small bags for availability of good fodder during the dry season.
Expanding pasture production and availability to increase milk yields is a problem that CBi Innovations Ltd seeks to address.
A major constraint to income growth of women in pastoralist communities is the low price for milk products in the traditional market and the significant wastage which occurs due to poor milk handling and pasteurisation techniques – up to 20% of milk is wasted using traditional methods. As the traditional pasteurisation technique does not prolong the shelf life of the milk produced, the women are often price takers as they are forced to sell their goods for very low prices towards the end of the day before it spoils.
The BIF project sought to overcome these problems by increasing women’s access to knowledge of best practice milk handling and pasteurisation techniques. The programme therefore developed a dairy extension curriculum in order to create and train local community milk hygiene service providers. These service providers in turn became ‘master trainers’ as they up-skilled further women to be able to train people in their community on modern milk hygiene and pasteurization techniques.
Improving milk collection, aggregation and delivery for industrial processing is a problem that CBi Innovations Ltd. seeks to address.