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PortaScience

Partnership period: August 2013 – November 2014

Country: Rwanda

ACHIEVEMENTS: PortaScience sold more than 4,200 individual UdderCheck dipsticks during the program partnership and learned how to commercialize in this large and underserved East African market, while Africa Breeders Services Total Cattle Management trained more than 600 farmers in good dairy management practices.

PURPOSE: Sell PortaScience’s UdderCheck mastitis detection dipstick and udder hygiene kits to smallholder dairy farmers so that in less than two minutes they can detect early-stage mastitis, a common inflammatory disease in cows. Udder inflammation caused by mastitis is the most costly disease that dairy farmers face. PortaScience demonstrated that an improved hygiene regimen for cows can reduce the incidence of mastitis by an average of 50 percent and lead to increased productivity and income for Rwandan smallholder dairy farmers.

APPROACH: With its Rwanda-based partner, Africa Breeders Services Total Cattle Management, PortaScience completed farmer training and is selling the kits through local milk collection centers. To lower UdderCheck’s price, PortaScience purchased production equipment, identified a manufacturer, and created Rwanda-specific packaging with fewer dipsticks. The partnership also provided education on the risks of mastitis as well as ways to improve dairy cow health, and it highlighted the financial benefits of cow health, rather than focusing primarily on milk quality.