A milk processing plant is under construction in the village of Shighatini in the North Pare mountains of Tanzania. The building is under construction, with the walls, windows, and doors completed. Installations of electrical and plumbing services are underway. Additional funds are needed for equipment, supplies, and personnel training.

Why is the milk processing plant needed?

The World Bank reports that most people living in rural Tanzania live on less than 1 U.S. dollar per day. Development is slow in reaching rural communities and is compounded by poor infrastructure, intermittent electrical service, water issues (scarcity and quality), and lack of investors.

A milk processing plant has been a dream for the people of Shighatini for many years. Many families have a milk cow or two for family use and would like to sell excess milk to generate income. Currently milk can be sold only to others in the immediate Shighatini area; there is no commercial milk market for expanded distribution. The new milk processing plant will add value to the milk by pasteurizing it, and then processing it into a shelf-safe cultured milk product that can be sold to consumers in surrounding villages and schools.

What will be the impact?

Jobs: The milk processing plant and the local milk market will have a positive economic impact on the Shighatini community by creating the equivalent of 7-8 full-time jobs. The facility will employ a manager, an assistant manager, a bookkeeper, a pickup and delivery driver, and technicians who will perform the plant operations—milk processing, maintenance and other operations.

Income and Education: The labors of the women—gathering and hauling water and grass—will be rewarded with income that will help them with the costs of educating their children. The raw milk will be supplied from five neighboring villages making for the regional impact on incomes.

Food Security: Fresh, safe dairy products will be available in the community.

Impact by the numbers

Capacity: Surveys done by Land-O-Lakes, Empower Tanzania, Inc, and other dairy experts on milk production in the region suggest that the average cow will produce 5 liters of milk per day. The milk processing plant will have a 750 liter per day capacity.

Family Impact: Assuming 4 liters is available for sale, at the current price of 400 Tanzanian Shillings (TSH) per liter, a family could receive 1600 TSH per day in income per cow. The current exchange rate is 1600 TSH to $1 USD. Considering that the average daily income is $1USD, the sale of 4 liters of milk each day will double the household income!

Community Impact: At full capacity, 300K TSH of milk money will be added to the local economy each day! This equals about $200 USD per day that didn’t exist in the community before! And over $70,000 USD per year injected into the local economy. The impact will be over $70,000 USD per year for over 400 local dairy farmers and their families.