BRIDAY Dairy Project
Increasing milk production and improving dairy value chain in Buea - SW Region
Why this project ?
The problem of fresh milk production and consumption in most developing countries remains acute. This is attributed to low levels of production; low purchasing power of most populations, low levels of education, differences in tastes and preferences; local perception to fresh milk consumption and poor sensitization all combine to limit the consumption of milk or other protein-rich foods in Cameroon.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates in 1983 for the world's per capital consumption of dairy products was an average of 80 kg of liquid milk equivalent. In the developed countries, per capital consumption averaged 210 kg while in the developing countries it was as low as 30 kg. In the developing countries, the highest per capital consumption was in the southern part of Latin America; in most African countries south of the Sahara it was extremely low and in some countries less than 10 kg.
In Cameroon, dairy farming is still at a rudimentary stage despite the presence of research institutions and training centers. Modern dairy farms are absent and most dairy farmers don't have the technical skills and finances to operate and manage a modern farm. In the past, between 1957 - 1981; breeds of holstein, Jersey, Montbelliard, Pinzgauer and brown swiss were imported from USA, France, Austria and Germany and distributed at IRAD (institute of Research for Agricultural Development) known as Animal Research Institute at that time. These animals were in Bambui and Jakiri (NWR), Upper Farms Buea (SWR), ENSA-Nkolbison Yaounde (Centre) and Wakwa (Ngoundere) IRAD stations. These imported breeds came in as cows, bulls and semen. Today, there is a modern processing unit in Ngoundere with milk collection stations in Garoua and Maroua. Despite all this, milk production and processing is still in acute shortage and completely absent. Artificial insemination (AI) techniques are well implemented but there is still a lot to be done as regards specialized dairy farms that can actually produce, process and market products. Moreover, Pastures are under-developed with very few bracharia and guatamala fields in the North west, South West and West Regions. Most local breeds and even introduced species like the Holstein depend on indigenous grass species and composed feed for nutrients and minerals. A lot of smallholder dairy farmers have abandoned their farms because of intensive labour (feeding, health and investment) given the fact that they are low income farmers who can barely survive. Moreover, the milk market is poorly organized. There are many factors hindering the development of this particular agribusiness activity most especially the lack of interest from youths who view it as a job meant for wretched people. That is the conception of most Cameroonian youths. Dairy value chain in Cameroon is under exploited and the few farmers don't have the technical skills to improve on their current systems. Most farmers are selling their cows to butchers claiming that it is too much work and they were unable to sell their milk owing to the absence of a processing unit.
This project is currently operated in an old dairy farm built by the Germans at upper farms in Buea since 1908. The old feeders and drinkers can still be seen and that is what we use. We want to turn this unit into a more productive and efficient that will not only produce a huge quantity of milk but will serve as a center for learning for young professionals, foster bovine research and harness dairy value chain using advance technologies and skills. Diary farming contributes to increasing GHG (especially methane) emissions through enteric digestion and from its dung and urine. So, our project have abatement practices like on-farm composting and bio gas production that reduces our carbon footprint. We are producing milk from grass fed Holstein cows and from it we have sugar-free yoghurt, small amount of butter and raw milk.
Our project is focus on networking with few hardworking dairy farms to produce huge quantities (more than 3000liters/day) of fresh milk from Holstein cow raised solely on grass. Our vision is to transform this old dairy into an advanced dairy farm with modern equipment and technology that will produce and process milk into different dairy products on-farm. We welcome any effort that will enable us to achieve our objectives:
- Develop dairy value chain by enhancing existing production units of other smallholder dairy farms
- Promote Artificial Insemination techniques to enhance productivity and production of traditional systems
- Create a center for research and training in dairy farming that will serve the West and the Central African Region.
Dairy farming can significantly solve malnutrition problems and protein deficiency especially in infants, ageing and sick people. Unemployment can be significantly reduced through this project and a new generation of dairy farmers can spring up from this initiative.
Watch short video of our cow here