Archive for the ‘Traditional Making Cheese’ Category

How to Make a Local Fridge using Charcoal(english version),Engeri yokukolamu fridge yamanda (luganda version)

Compiled by Karamagi Akiiki Ednah

Step 1 Identify a suitable location for your fridge. It does not matter whether it is under the sunshine or a shade. What is most important is that you choose a location where you do not have to shift the fridge from place to place – this is a permanent structure.

Step 2 Determine the size of you fridge that you want to construct.

Step 3 Erect a double wire mesh boundary with at least a sizeable width within.

Step 4 Pack large charcoal particles in between while filling the gaps with smaller charcoal particles. Avoid use of charcoal dust because it will pollute your food.

Step 5 For the base, use mud; and for the roof, use dry grass. Do not use wire mesh or charcoal for the base or roof construction.

Step 6 Do not forget to put a door to keep away animals and thieves.

Step 7 Also, you have to be mindful that you have to pour water on this charcoal to maintain the cool temperatures within. You can either do this manually or automatically using constructed structures similar to those used in Drip Irrigation. The pouring of water can be done continuously or at a time depending on weather condition outside. The higher the temperatures, the more the water required.

An interesting concept I came across was one used by farmers in western Uganda. Their fridges are much smaller both in width, length and height. These women farmers place a bucket full of water on top of the “fridge”; hanging from the bucket onto the charcoal edges are deep thick wicks (like those of a lantern). The logic is that the wicks suck water and drip it on the charcoal, thereby cooling it.

Charcoal is used as it is a good coolant. Wet charcoal does not allow easy passage of heat thus resulting into low temperature inside. Also, use of water on the charcoal is to minimize charcoal dust. Charcoal is made of wood which by nature do not transmit heat easily. Also, charcoal has pore spaces which absorb and store water inside, this reduces heat passing from outside.

On the other hand, because charcoal comes from trees, use of charcoal only contributes to environmental degradation; which is disastrous to our environment. It grossly affects the climatic condition of an area, as well as the soil. It is important therefore that you seek legal country permission and guidance before you undertake this project. Also, you can start an active tree planting campaign.

Special thanks to the following that enabled me compile this article
To CoRFiLAC, for inciting the curiosity in me. It all stemmed from need for a fridge so that the local persons also can make traditional cheese for both personal food nutrition and market consumption.

To Simbo N Ntiro, a member of the C3Net dgroup, where I posted the article; he picked it up and forwarded it to ethink tank and Tanzania gateway, both Tanzanian based dgroups.

To Athumani Mlinga who attended the Farmers’ Day Exhibitions (Nane Nane) in Morogoro (Tanzania); saw this cooling concept from The National Service pavilion made of charcoal into a small hut and agreed to share it with me. He also traced and found the actual person that makes the fridge, Winifrida Bhoke Matutu

To Winifrida Bhoke Matutu is from Ilala Municipal Council (Tanzania) and actually makes the local charcoal fridge. She is a horticulturist dealing with advising farmers on good methods of cultivating flowers, fruits, vegetables, and making land scalping.

1.Funa ekifo ekisaana okuteekamu fridge ebweru oba munda mu kasana oba mukasikirize.Fridge eno si yakujja mukifo

2.Salawo obunene bwa fridge gyoyagala

3.Zimba akatimba ng;okazinzemu emirundi ebiri mu makati nga wajaayo Amanda.beera ngazimba akayumba akatono nga mumakati mulimu emiti

4.Pakira Amanda amanene mu makati gakatimba,amabanga agasigadde ojjuzewo amatono.Tokozesa vvu

5.Wansi teekayo ettaka waggulu osseyo essubi ekkalu.Tekako oluggi okuziyiza ababbi

6.Oluvannyuma mu manda yiwamu amazzi buli kaseera okusobola okukuuma fridge nga ennyogoga

7.Oba osobola okuddira akalobo akalimu amazzi n’okassa waggulu nekaleebeeta noterezaamu entambi ne zitonnya mu fridge buli kaseera


How to Make a Local Cooler

By Karamagi Akiiki Ednah

After the training by CorFilac over how to make traditional cheese making, I realized that actually one doesn’t have to pay the exorbitant prices for aged cheese sold in the supermarkets. For just a hundred grams, one has to part with atleast UG. SHS 2,500. This is quite high for the rural person, and even for many urban dwellers. This doesn’t matter where one is from, rural or urban, as long as you have milk, a coagulating agent and a cooler, you can make your own cheese.

Now where it gets complex is the need for the cooler or fridge. Not all rural areas in Uganda have electricity. As a matter of fact, in the rural areas, electiricty is refined to mainly the urban sections of the rural settings and this is worrying should a farmer want to make cheese at home for either subsistence or commercial production. The challenge then is how the farmer can access a cooler or a fridge; which incidentally is a dire necessity in ageing cheese?

This challenge set me googling on the Internet, and see what I found …

How to Make a Cooler from ordinary materials.

Foods that are kept at warm temperatures are a favorite places for bacteria to grow. Remember to keep foods from the refrigerator or freezer cold.If you don’t have a cooler, you can make your own

You will need: –
 Two different sizes of sturdy cardboard boxes with lids
 Newspaper
 Ice in plastic bags

To make it, follow the steps below
Step 1 Place one inch of crumpled newspaper on the largest of the bottom box
Step 2 Place the smaller box inside the larger box. Fix the sides of the box with tightly crumpled newspaper
Step 3 Place the food in tightly closed plastic containers or plastic bags inside the smaller box. Pack ice in the small box close to the plastic bags/containers in the smaller box and close the lids.
Step 4 Place ½ inch of tightly crumpled newspaper on the top of the closed smaller box, close the lid of the larger box

Below are some pictures i got from the article that you can use in an attempt to make the “cooler”

To me this could be a creative way to the beginning of making a home made cooler for the rural areas though it comes along with need to invest in the ice cubes. Now incidentally, these are very cheap and they can be afforded. A farmer could have a long term arrangement with the businessmen that have fridges and gets a daily supply at a lower cost. Or better still, i remember during the Cheese making course, we were priviledged to visit a farmer that makes cheese from sheeps’ milk and he had this arrangement where he made payements using cheese. Perhaps, the farmers could copy a similar payment mode.

When it comes to cheese making, one needs a permanent cooling structure. This is because the ageing process can take one to twelve months. Suppose one constructed one out of baked clay, covered it with layers and layers of baked earth and placed the structure on a cemented floor that has no access to sunlight or heat? I narrow down to this because while growing up my mother used to store drinking water in a baked pot and keep it on the cement. She said that this always kept the water cold and fresh. Can a similar well planned setting be used for the traditional coolers?

Guess we just have to try it out …

To read article … click here

Our Step by Step Trial at Making Moroccan Cheese

Posted by Maria Nakirya

On Monday, 21st May 2007, we, that is Maria Nakirya (Program Coordinator of Agricultural Program, BROSDI) Ednah Karamagi (General Manager of BROSDI) and Jesca Muwanga (Vice Chairperson of the CELAC Masaka District Farmers Network) set out to put into practice the art of making Moroccan Cheese, a skill learnt during the CORFILAC Seminars in Ragusa, Italy.
to read the whole article

Engeri Y’okulima N’okutereka Omuddo gw’ente Lolium Italicum(Luganda) … How to grow Fodder – Lolium Italicum for Cattle (English)

Posted by Mrs Muwanga – Vice Chariperson of CELAC Masaka District Network
Translated to English from Luganda by Maria Nakirya (Read English Version below the Luganda one)
Ensigo y’omuddo guno yatuwebwa oluvannyuma lw’omusomo ogwali mu Italy ogwategekebwa Corfilac mu kibuga ky’e Rugusa

Omuddo gunno tugulabye nga gutera okumulisa okuva mu mwezi gw,okutaano okutuuka ogw’omwenda.Gumulisa ekimuli kya kakobe.Ekimuli ekyo kitenkwa kuba kisajja nakikazzi.Empeewo yetambuuza.

Twalaba ng’ omuddo ogwo gusimbibwa awaali olusenyusenyu, eryolubumbabumb n’eriddugavu.Era twalaba nga omuddo ogwo guba n’ekimuli kyakakobe.Gukolebwamu emmere y’ebisolo naddala ente,mulufutifuti gwetuyita hay.

Wewale okusimba omuddo guno mukisiikirize. Tegeka ennimiiro yo bulungi, tekamu ebingimusa .enkuba bweba etandiise okuntonya.Ensiga ya kumansa.Teeka ensigo mugalo tandiika okumasa wona.Toyiwako ttaka lingi .enkuba bweba nga eweddeyo olina okufunkiirila mpaaka nga bimeze.
Okukoola yisaamu kakumbi.

Twalaba nga omuddo guno gulina emigaso mingi
•Ofunamu omuddo gwensolo
•Onfunamu ebibikka olusunku

Entereka ya hay.oba silage.
Ofuna najoolo esaala obulungi nosaala omuddo ogwo.nolyoka ogutematema.Funa akaveera akkoluwewere nga omanze ddiira omudddo ogwo guuse mukaveera ako Siba mukaveera akasooka bwo mala siiba ensonda nesonda.nga bwonyingiriiza ennyo empewo eleme kuberaamu.Bwomala zinga mukiveera ekyomubiri omunene bwomara ssiiba era esoondanesoonda.
Twala oterrekke bulungi.muunyumba awawewevvu.Era awo wogukumi ngumalilawo daala ebbanga ngalyamyezi 6.Olwokuba guterekebwa okumala ebbanga ddene guba mulungi naddala mu budde bwenjala/oba obw’omusana


The seeds of this grass were given to us after cheese making training in Italy by Corfilac in Rugusa.This grass usually flowers between May and September. It has a purple flower.Polination is by wind.

We realized the grass needs sandy, loamy and clay soil. It is used to make animal feeds (hay) and as green manure.

Avoid planting this grass under shade. Prepare your garden, adding fertilizers incase the soil is poor. When the rain season begins, start planting and incase there is no rain, irrigation should be done until the grass germinates. Planting is by broadcasting. Cover with very little soil. Weeding should be done with a help of a hand hoe.

We realized that this type of grass has various uses
•Its used as an animal feed
•It is used as green manure
•Seeds can be got and sold or stored for the next season

Get a cutting instrument and cut it into small pieces. Get a soft polythene bag and put the grass .Tie tightly (tie all corners) while pressing it to remove all the air. Then tie in a polythene with a harder cover and tie tight again. Try to tie all corners.

It is now ready for storage. Hang it somewhere in a cold house. It can be kept for over 6 months. It is recommended that this method should be used to store hay for drought conditions

How to Prepare Fermented Milk

As illustrated to Karamagi Akiiki Ednah by Pro. Dr. Hofi, a Professor of Diary Science and Technology in the Food and Science department in Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt (email:

Keep fresh milk in a plastic container at room temperature for 2 – 3 days

Do not boil or freeze as it will kill the bacteria. Milk has alot of bacteris from the air, container and even from poor handling procedures. This bacteria is called natural flora.

Check the milk every 12 hours or so while looking out for the fermentation process. Good fermentation – the milk smells and tastes clean. also, the whey is at the top and the curd is at the bottom of the container. Bad fermentation – the milk has an undesirable smell and the curd floats at the top while the whey is at the bottom

Not that in winter the fermentation procecss takes longer as compared to the summer season due to the low temperatures experienced. Higher temperatures make the bacteria more active.

When whey is at the top, carefully remove it and what is left is teh fermented milk. Fermented milk has a bitter taste and teh structure is smoother. it has an active taste and when used to make cheese, the cheese shelf life is increased. Cheese from fermented cheese can also be stretched. However, if one wshes to quicken the coagulation process during cheese making, one should add rennet in addition to the fermeted milk

Information derived from Seminars on Cheese-making & Cheese-aging held and organised by CoRFiLaC, Ragusa, April 30 – May 11, 2007

Traditional Cheese making from Greece

Compiled by Mrs Muwanga – Vice Chariperson of CELAC Masaka District Network

1. Get the milk and add animal rennet to separate the curd from the whey

2. Leave to enable the whey teh whey go up at the bottom and the curd at the top

3. Cut the curd carefully into cubes to enable the whey sip through to the top as the curd sinks

4. Remove the whey very carefully making sure that you dont disturb the curd

5. Get a square cloth, hold it atleast two people in the corner while the third carefully collects the curd and places it in the middle of the cloth to drain

6. After, shake the cloth carefully from side to side to enable extra draining. Do not press

7. Tie the ends into one single knot and hang up using a rope. This enables extra draining. Also the cheese is hang up for two hours.

8. The cheese is ready to eat or ripen according to farmers choice of consumption

Information derived from Seminars on Cheese-making & Cheese-aging held and organised by CoRFiLaC, Ragusa, April 30 – May 11, 2007

Traditional Cheese making from Morocco

Compiled by Mrs Muwanga – Vice Chariperson of CELAC Masaka District Network

Fatima El-Idysy illustrated how cheese is made in Morocco without using rennet.
1. Prepare fermented milk

2. Measure the fresh milk to the tune of two parts of fresh milk for every one part of fermented milk

3. Boil the fresh milk and add the fermented milk. Do not remove from fire.

4. Boil the mixture till the curd has separated from the whey. Do not mix and do not lower the fire.

5. Remove from the fire ad cool completely until whey obtains a yellowish color

6. Using a cotton cloth, seive the coagulated milk and squeeze cloth to remove excess whey

7. Cheese is ready to eat

Information derived from Seminars on Cheese-making & Cheese-aging held and organised by CoRFiLaC, Ragusa, April 30 – May 11, 2007

Animal Nutrition

Notes from Prof. Araba Abdelilah, Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Rabat Morocco (email:,


Talking about animal nutrition means that we should consider nutrients provided by feed resources and those needed by the animal. These are: –
– energy
– protein
– minerals
– vitamins
– fiber
– water

The deficiency in any of these nutrients may affect the production (e.g. milk, meat, wool, etc), reproduction (e.g. age at first breeding, time between two consecutive births, etc) and health. That is why it is important to provide all the nutrients in adequate quantities and in a balanced manner.
Prof Dr Araba

The science of nutrition allows us to develop diets that fulfill in an appropriate way the requirements of the animals through the techniques of ration formulation. However, for those producers who are not trained to these technique, they can use the “Body Condition Score” as a tool to manage animal feeding. In this regard, there are five scores (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), where the score “1” is for thin cows and the score “5” for fat cows. These scores need to be used to appreciate at: –
– calving, lambing, etc
– peak of lactation
– mid lactation
– end of lactation
Professor Dr Araba

For example, at calving the cows should have a score of 3.5. This means that the cows should not be fat and should not be thin at the moment of calving.

After calving, the farmers should avoid a big drop in cows condition score. Research showed that a decrese in Body Condition Score higher than 1 score may affect milk production and the cows production. That is why it is important to well manage the transition period (3 weeks) before calving and 2 months after calving.

Reasons why you should Substitute Water with Whey in Breadmaking

Compiled by Mrs Muwanga – Vice Chariperson of CELAC Masaka District Network

Prof. Dr. Hoffi, a Professor of Diary Science and Technology in the Food and Science department in Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt (email: said that it is a good practice to substitute water with whey during bread making process.
He said this has several advantages: –

1. The color of the final bread product becomes more gold due to the presence of lactose in the whey. The bread also becomes more tasty.

2. Bread made out of whey is more nutritious. It contains water soluble vitamins in addition to whey protein and minerals. Presence of lactose will improve calcium arbsorbtion.

3. Fermentation process during bread making process becomes shorter due to presence of milk sugar (lactose) utilized by baking yeast.

4. Your end product will be atleast 5% more in quantity because whey adds total solids to the bread paste and whey protein holds more water.

5. Bread is kept fresh for a longer period due to the presence of protein

Information derived from Seminars on Cheese-making & Cheese-aging held and organised by CoRFiLaC, Ragusa, April 30 – May 11, 2007

Why you should use Wooden Instruments to make Cheese

Compiled by Karamagi Akiiki Ednah

From time immemorial, cheese making instruments were wooden. This is a cultural aspect. However today, some farmers prefer to use stainless steel alongside plastic instruments. Instruments implied here are the buckets, stirring spoon and draining cups.

Preferance to use stainless steel is because of the claim that they are easier to wash and keep clean as compared to the wooden ones.

The recommended wood type is the “Douglas Tree”. This is because it is strong and has a very smooth finish. Also, it soes not chip away quite easily. However, because teh Douglas tree doesnt grow in all climates, one can use any other type available provided it has a smooth finish and does not peel. Suggested option especially in africa was the use of the calabash.

Another advantage in use of the Douglas Tree is because it doesnt affect the utensil surface when in contact with hot water. It also doesnt shift its condition during winter and summer seasons. It also enables lesser transfer of micro organisms from the wood to the milk.

    Information derived from Seminars on Cheese-making & Cheese-aging held and organised by CoRFiLaC, Ragusa, April 30 – May 11, 2007