End Energy Poverty/ Human Impact

Gender Inclusion through Clean Energy-Powered Milk Preservation in Nigeria

Nigeria has Africa’s 5th largest cattle herd, yet the country imports most of the milk it consumes – $1.3 billion worth per year. Small scale pastoralists account for 95% of all milk produced in Nigeria, earning two-thirds of their income from livestock and milk production on average. However, low productivity and cheap imports have suppressed domestic market and local value chains.

About 62% of dairy farmers are women. Milk sales are more likely to make up the bulk of women farmers’ total income than it is those of men farmers. However, male dairy farmers still earn 64% more in total than females, while large disparities exist in asset ownership and control, including cow ownership (72% of women dairy farmers do not own cattle), access to land, access to credit and capital, access to transportation, and participation in the formal dairy sector.

Nigeria anticipates a staggering 577% increase in domestic demand for milk by 2050. However, inconsistent access to refrigeration along the value chain holds back productivity for pastoralists. Low production is largely due to high rates of post-production losses of up to 40%. Another 10% is rejected for not meeting quality standards.

Investing $22.4 million into DREs could bring more reliable refrigeration to two critical points: collection points and large collection centers.

Distributed renewable energy-powered job creation is heavily weighted in favor of sectors dominated by women. In Nigeria, the benefits of electrifying the milk value chain using DREs would flow disproportionately to women.

Collection points have less access to electricity and are more vulnerable to power supply irregularities since they are typically located in remote areas. Small milk chillers (300-liter capacity) powered by solar mini-grids or standalone solar would provide more reliable cooling infrastructure and serve as anchor loads for mini-grids. $15.5 million is needed to power 3,000 milk collection points. Milk chillers powered by 5.8MW of new solar generation and storage capacity are required at large collection centers, with an investment cost of $6.9 million.

With investment in DREs and milk collection centers, post-production losses would fall to 8%, yielding 84% average income increase per milking day. This would directly create 18,000 jobs and improve the lives of 146,000 dairy farming households. If cooling infrastructure were powered by DREs instead of diesel or the Nigerian grid, that would eliminate the production of 32-40 MT of C02.

Given the prominence of women in the dairy industry and milk processing specifically, women stand to benefit more from DREs for chilling capacity, especially if investments are strategically directed to them. The income benefits of DRE investments are also more profoundly felt by women dairy farmers, raising their incomes by 17% compared to 10% for men.


This case study is an excerpt from the report “Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential from a Green Power Transition in the Energy-Poor World”. Learn more about the findings by downloading the full report below.

  • Report

    Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential from a Green Power Transition in the Energy Poor World

    In “Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential From a Green Power Transition in the Energy-Poor World”, we estimate the job creation that would flow through tapping into the enormous growth potential of clean and distributed energies to end energy poverty to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030.
    Download PDF

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