Food safety and agricultural productivity are issues that can limit the quality of life in the developing world. In many developing countries, milk is a significant source of calories, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the human diet. However, raw milk often contains harmful pathogens, which can quickly multiply in poor conditions between milking and the marketplace.
In Kenya, more than one million small-scale farmers rely on cow’s milk for their income, but there are few affordable options to safely collect, store, and transport it. In an effort to increase incomes for small-scale farmers and to increase the supply of safe milk, IV Lab in partnership with Global Good is developing alternative milk transportation systems for use in rural areas of the developing world. Our goal is to invent a system that helps rural dairy farmers maximize the quantity and quality of milk they’re able to market and sell.
Traditional milk pails are frequently kicked over during milking and gather contaminants that accelerate spoilage. From these pails, farmers often pour milk into repurposed jerry cans that break easily and are difficult to clean. IV Lab has worked to develop a safer, more affordable milking, storage and transportation system that allows clean and efficient collection and transportation of milk from cow to the consumer.
Through field tests and user-centered design practices, the system is focused on a durable 10-liter container designed specifically to reduce spillage and spoilage. Farmers can milk directly into the container with a detachable funnel that limits contaminants, helps identify signs of udder infections, and reduces spillage when the container is tipped. The container’s attached lid is then secured onto the container, which itself is stackable for easy transportation from the farm to collection centers that purchase milk.
The proper use of our container would reduce the number of times the milk will change containers and is much easier to clean and transport. Coupled with educating farmers on proper sanitation practices, this system could go a long way in increasing the quality of milk received at the co-ops.
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