PortaScience, Inc. president, Michael Gavin just returned from Rwanda. There he participated in the educational segment of a program funded by a grant from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation to commercialize a milk quality test for East African small farms. He was joined by David Lee, professor from New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Nathaniel F. Makoni, Ph.D. with African Breeders Services, Total Cattle Management Ltd. Each provided educational resources to Rwandan dairy farmers.
Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is a program funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Fintrac, Inc. The program is focused on finding and commercializing agricultural technology that can help farmers in developing countries. It serves as a bridge that brings new technologies to market, changing the way small farmers do business by improving productivity and income as well as improving milk quality. The Rwandan government is very supportive of these efforts to bring high quality milk to more citizens as well as improving the economics of the small farmers.
PortaScience, Inc., was selected from more than 120 companies worldwide because of their novel technology that enables farmers to test milk quality and screen for udder infection or mastitis in dairy cows. Educating African farmers and providing for the low cost manufacture of the UdderCheckTM LDH test to screen for this costly disease are key aspects of the grant program. PortaCheck, Inc., currently markets UdderCheck in the U.S., and worldwide, in over 65 countries.
“The trip to Rwanda was an unforgettable experience,” Michael Gavin said. “It is a beautiful country, and the people are friendly. Farmers really wanted to learn from us and were very appreciative of our efforts to bring new technologies to their area.”