Support for the development of dairy breeding around the town of Kayes in Mali
The dairy breeding project was carried out by the Center for Development and Research (CIDR). It followed a first action realized by this NGO after the resettlement in Mali of six young migrant working in France.
The project has supported their conversion as farmers on land along the Senegal River, downstream from the town of Kayes in Mali. These young people who had no agricultural experience benefited from support in France for the preparation of their project and particularly of training with French farmers as well as coaching and financial support for their arrival in Mali. Each of these farms had 15 to 20 dairy cows. CIDR organized veterinary supervision of the herds and the commercialization of the milk in the town of Kayes.
To support the development of the milk production, the project has put in place the tools necessary to secure a reliable market for the entire production of these breeders, to mobilize the other villagers around the intensification of their traditional breeding and to ensure the supply of products, equipment and services essential to this development. Our work focused on four main activities:
The logistics to collect the milk daily in villages;
The organization of the milk commercialization in the city of Kayes;
The animation to support the creation of a breeders' cooperative so that farmers could take charge of collecting milk and supplying inputs;
The technical support for breeders.
These actions led to the setting of a mini dairy plant in 1985 in Kayes. The milk was collected through six itineraries around the town. The project also led to the creation of a breeders' cooperative in the district of Samé and the negotiation of a supervision program with the services of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Support for the development of milk production- Breeding intensification:
The villagers used to breed cattle on a sedentary and extensive way; characterized by a very low milk production with an average of less than 1 liter of milk per day. The rate of cows giving birth during a year was low. The lactation peak was low and very short while the females feed their calves for periods well beyond the year.
To develop the milk production, the project focused its support to breeders on:
The training of breeders;
The establishment of a bi-weekly milk production monitoring;
The improvement of the cattle alimentation during the dry season: diffusion of the forages storage (such as peanut or cow-peas leaves and bush straw) and the use of a nitrogen supplement in the form of peanut cakes, cotton cakes and cotton seeds;
The improvement of the herds health through the organization of vaccination campaigns (against rinderpest, peripneumonia, anthrax and pasteurellosis), the fight against trypanosomiasis and a regular deworming of animals.
Support for the development of milk production: organization of daily milk collection.
The project collected milk from the herds of Toronké zebus, Moorish zebus and N'Dama cows belonging to sedentary farmers installed in a radius of 25 km around the city of Kayes and located along three axes: along the Senegal river, upstream and downstream of the city and along the Kollinbiné river.
Three collectors riding bicycles going from village to village along each axes gathered the milk every morning. We collected only the morning milking. We used plastic drums that were washed and disinfected with bleach every day to carry the milk. Collectors arrived at the dairy in Kayes between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The bicycle may appear to be a rather slow vehicle to carry a very perishable product such as milk. However, it has proven to be a means of collection well suited to local conditions: very dispersed production, low volumes and dirt roads in very poor conditions. With collectors selected for their motivation and their seriousness, this way of gathering and transporting the milk to Kayes worked very reliably.
Up to 13,500 liters of milk were collected in one year
Support for the development of milk production: creation of a mini-dairy
At the beginning of the project, the dairy only consisted in a room in a building made of "banco" and was only equipped with rudimentary means: freezer and refrigerators, manual cream separator and a small 1.7 kVa generator to supply power during the numerous cuts of the public grid.
Upon its arrival at Kayes, the milk was filtered through a cotton cloth after a basic quality control: physical appearance, taste and boiling behavior control. Fresh milk was kept cool and sold in the evening on the “night market” and through street vendors equipped with rickshaws. It was manually packaged in a 1/2 liter plastic bag.
The milk that was too acid to pass the boiling test was curdled in plastic basins and sold the next morning in 0.25 liter plastic bags, fresh and sweet.
In 1985, a mini dairy was set up with the support of Mali-Lait, the association of former students of French ENIL (Dairy industry schools) and a loan from the BNDA. Located in a larger and more suitable warehouse, this mini-dairy was equipped with: a 400-liter stainless steel receiving tank, an Actini ultraviolet pasteurizer equipped with a compressor to refrigerate the milk, a 650 liters refrigerated tank, an electric milk skimmer, a semi-automatic belt bagging machine allowing a packaging of 100 sachets of ½ liter per hour and a freezer to store the sachets of fresh pasteurized milk until the sale.
A yogurt production has been launched under the brand Sigi Lait.
Support for the development of milk production: Research & Development
Peulh and Sarakolé breeders were living in the bush North of Kayes. They used to produce large volumes of milk during the rainy season. Because there was no market close to breeders' camp, a significant part of this milk was not sold. The distance from Kayes was too long to allow us to collect this milk with a bicycle and the roads' conditions, especially during the rains, made the transport by car too randomly. The project carried out trials to make feta cheese with artisanal means available in the camps of Peulh breeders. The feta was stored and transported to Kayes in brine. Trials to transform the feta cheese after desalting into processed cheese packaged in small "sausage" were also carried out.
Finally, given the difficulties to get sufficient supply of peanut cake, cotton cake or cottonseed, attempts to produce animal feed from the content of rumens recovered from the Kayes slaughterhouse were conducted in collaboration with an FAO expert.