FAPC-OSU members to volunteer in Africa
A faculty and staff member of Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will travel to Africa to participate in a volunteer assignment with CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program.
Tim Bowser, Ph.D., FAPC food process engineer and OSU biosystems and agricultural engineering associate professor, and Kyle Flynn, FAPC meat pilot plant manager, will travel to Nairobi, Kenya this month.
"Dr. Bowser and I look forward to the opportunity to help improve meat production practices and processing facility efficiencies in Kenya's capital and largest city, Nairobi," Flynn said. "This volunteer assignment will allow us to share our processing practices in the United States while developing an understanding of practices implemented in other countries."
During the international volunteer assignment, the duo will provide support to the Kenya Meat Commission, a dominant revenue generator in the country.
Action items of the volunteer trip include providing a detailed evaluation to the Kenya Meat Commission of the state of machinery and equipment determining killing floor, cold rooms, canning line and soup extract line efficiency; evaluation of the current maintenance program for improvements; and benchmark machinery and equipment to other established slaughter houses.
"The commission would like to increase its monthly revenue from Ksh 75 million ($862,069) to Ksh 137 million ($1,593,023) within the next year," Bowser said.
"In order to achieve these set targets for the commission, there is a need for development and implementation of a turn around strategy. In essence, the engineering department would like to work towards attaining 100 percent plant availability from the current 40 percent as it improves its productivity."
The Kenya Meat Commission intends to use Bowser and Flynn's recommendations from the machinery and equipment evaluation of two government ran facilities to bring current practices up to modern livestock slaughtering and meat processing standards.
"The mission is to procure livestock, process and market high-quality meat and meat products at competitive prices using efficient, effective and environmentally friendly systems to the satisfaction of customers and other stakeholders," Bowser said.
In 2011, Bowser also traveled to Tajikistan with CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, a private, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Since 1993, more than 1,300 individuals have volunteered in CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program. Funding for Bowser and Flynn's assignment will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development.
For more information, visit www.cnfa.org.