B. Traditional Methods of Milk Processing and Preservation by Local Farmers.
Geshom Nuwemuhwezi 9 months ago
This study was carried out to analyze traditional methods of milk processing and preservation by local farmers in Kashongi Sub County Kiruhura district. Milk producers in Kashongi Sub County own small and widely scattered farms, making access to markets a big challenge, given lack of well-developed infrastructure. Substantial amounts of milk remain at the farms, justifying preservation to avert total wastage. The study established the methods, equipment and materials used by the local farmers in milk processing, established the effectiveness of milk preservation methods used in the sub county and identified the possible areas of improvement on milk processing in the sub-county. The research design was descriptive in nature and therefore used qualitative methods to analyze the magnitude of the problem. It was partly quantitative because the findings were tallied, tabulated and calculated to percentages. A total of 160 respondents was targeted for this study. The category of the respondents that was selected are specifically cattle keepers, who have reared cattle for a long time. This category of people were selected because; they have reared cattle for a long time and know many aspects on the cow. Cattle keepers were specifically used because they directly deal with cattle products. The study findings revealed that quite number of local methods have been used to store, process and preserve milk. Some of these include; natural air cooling, boiling, traditional vessels like wooden churn and gravitational among others. These methods were used because they were favored these farmers. Focusing on Kashongi Sub County, these methods are widely used to preserve and store milk. However these local methods are not in line to preserve milk for long hours, and days, it is well known that these methods cannot go three to four days of preservation. Some strategies like provision of modern processing equipment, extension of agricultural services to train farmers on how to improve on handling milk should be provided by the government. Dairy products that can be manufactured by small scale dairies include fermented milk (Bongo - similar to yoghurt) and ghee. Some technologies for their improvement have been adapted to suit local conditions and some of the modified processing techniques have been tried successfully in Kashongi Sub-County areas to some farmers.