In 2014, UGA was awarded $1 million from USAID for the development of a milk cooler targeted towards dairy farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Every night, farmers in the region lose up to 50% of their milk due to a lack of proper refrigeration. The loss has both social and economic implications that go beyond small-scale farmers. Dr. William Kisaalita, professor of biological & mechanical engineering and founder of Thermogenn (developer of high-performance, off-grid, evaporative coolers), noticed this issue and led the project in hopes of creating an effective and cost-efficient solution. Through the project, the team developed the most efficient materials and best processes to develop a cooler, make it available to farmers, and increase small scale farmer productivity. This substantial increase in productivity has the potential to double many farmers’ salaries from $5 to $10 a day.
The cooler, branded as the EvaKuula, is a biogas and wind powered device used for the preservation of milk freshness in low resource settings, specifically Uganda. Rather than use electricity, which is a scarce resource in Uganda, the EvaKuula heat treats the milk for sterilization then uses evaporative cooling treatment to keep the milk fresh overnight. It holds up to 80 liters or four 20-liter cans so farmers can also preserve other food for their families.
Currently, project personnel are working on refining the design, and field-testing the device to eventually bring the units to commercial sale.
Funded by: U.S. Agency for International Development
Date Range: 2014 - current (?)
University of Georgia collaborators:
Project Lead: William Kisaalita