Much like the South Asian markets where Promethean is currently active, the dairy industry in Africa, too, is brimming with latent opportunities.Promethean Power Systems recently had the opportunity to explore this developing market at the 12th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition (12th AfDa).
Milk production and consumption in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda is on an upswing. However, the African dairy industry faces numerous challenges.The most prominent of which are: low quality of milk, low production and collection volumes, limited expertise in milk processing and preservation, unreliable grid supply, and long transit times.
The 12th AfDa, held in Kigali from August 31 to September 2 2016, was an event that discussed how these changes are shaping the region’s dairy sector. The theme of the 2016 conference was, “African Dairy; the Future Begins Here”.
Promethean Power Systems was invited to participate in the conference to introduce dairy processors in African countries to a cost-effective, eco-friendly and diesel-free alternative to chilling milk – one that uses thermal-energy-storage-based systems. At the conference, Jofi Joseph, Director of Sales & Marketing, Promethean Power Systems, spoke on the topic, “Milk bulking and quality at the farm.”
A Snapshot of the African Dairy Industry
Milk production in Africa has grown steadily in response to the overall economic growth and health awareness. Most of the milk production in East Africa is run by small-scale farmers. There is a growing interest among the governments to develop the dairy industry as it provides a regular income source for the farmers.
The major hurdle in all of these countries is the lack of adequate infrastructure both at the farm and at the processing facilities. There is also a conscious effort by the dairy companies to shift the consumption pattern from liquid milk to products such as cheese, yogurt, and flavored milk. All these products require high-quality milk as their input which is an area where Promethean can make a difference.
How Promethean Could Help African Dairy Step Closer to Growth through Value-added Products
To achieve significant growth in production, the dairy industry in Africa requires solutions that are efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly. Promethean’s conventional and Rapid Milk Chillers can potentially address the challenges faced by dairy processors in electricity-scarce African nations.
Compared to India and Bangladesh, African nations have a relatively lower ratio of villages where milk is chilled at the village-level. For instance, the entire country of Rwanda has an estimated 100 milk coolers, which is lower even than the number of units installed in a few districts in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This demonstrates the need for implementation of state-of-the-art dairy supply chain technology in the African dairy industry.
Promethean Stirs Interest of Dairy Processors, Government Entities, and NGOs at AfDa
The conference has helped Promethean open discussions with local NGOs and establishments in Africa. African government officials have shown a keen interest in Promethean’s thermal-energy-based milk chillers and solutions that offer partial usage of electricity. Representatives from “Send a Cow”, an NGO working with small dairy farmers in East Africa, visited the Promethean factory and sites to gain a better understanding of the technology and evaluate implementation in their areas of operation.
“With a growing dairy industry and limited electrification, we see Africa as a very promising market for our innovative refrigeration solutions. We believe we can help dairy farmers and processors bring quality products to consumers. Our medium-term plans include the establishment of a permanent presence in Africa. Until then, we are planning to work with African dairy processors by shipping units from India,” said Jofi.