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Solar-Wind Milk cooling Project

NCST in collaboration with Mzuzu University, University of Malawi – Chancellor College and Lilongwe University for Agriculture and Natural Resources is implementing a project aimed at developing a solar/ wind milk cooling facility for dairy farmers in Matapwata EPA. The project is implemented with a grant from Rural Livelihoods Economic Enhancement Programme (RLEEP). RLEEP is a Malawi Government Programme being financed by a Government loan and a grant of about USD8,000,000.00 each from International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Project area:Matapwata Extension Planning Area (Thyolo District)
Project budget:MK22,820,294.00
Funding from (RLEEP):MK17,751,072.00 (US$40,151.70)
Partner contribution (NCST and its implementing partners): MK5, 029,222.00
Period: April 2014 – March 2016.
Objective of the Project:
The objective of the project is to develop a cheap alternative solar/wind power system to provide backup power to the milk cooling systems (where they are connected to mains grid and as main power supply to where they are not connected to the grid) used by Milk Bulking Groups (MBGs) in Matapwata Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Thyolo District.
Farmers in Matapwata EPA like other dairy farmers in Malawi experience problems of milk wastage because of power blackouts, load shedding and shortage of diesel and cost of diesel. The implementation of this project will therefore help farmers save on milk wastage and reduce milk cooling cost through the use of renewable energy.
In order to achieve the objective the following methodology will be used. Firstly farmers and other relevant stakeholders will be sensitised on the project. Baseline assessment of the existing cooling systems, design of the solar/wind system, installation of the hybrid system and training of farmers and MBG leadership will be carried out. Once the system is installed and commissioned it will be monitored and evaluated against the designed parameters. The results of the project will be disseminated through open days and distribution of brochures and leaflets.
To ensure sustainability of the project technicians and MBG committee members will be trained in management of solar/ wind energy systems and a maintenance fund will be set up for maintenance of the system.
Expected Outcomes
The expected outcomes of the project are:
• Improved availability of energy supply for milk cooling;
• Reduced energy costs for milk cooling; and
• Reduced milk wastage.