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Every year, millions of dollars of milk is poured away because it cannot be kept fresh. But a series of low-cost inventions aim to change that and the lives of millions of subsistence farmers.

William Kisaalita has cold milk on his mind.

The tissue engineer runs a program at the University of Georgia in the US that develops new technologies to help farmers in his native Uganda, where he grew up on a farm.

The United Nations, in fact, estimates that 27% of all milk in Uganda goes to waste, much of it due to spoilage. The UN says that loss costs Ugandan farmers more than $20m a year. The yearly losses are similar for neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania.

So Kisaalita and his students began building a small-scale milk chiller that could hold 20 litres of the white stuff. Traditionally, big dairy machines have an outer and inner tank, with insulation in the space between. Compressors, condensers and refrigerants are pumped through the system to rapidly chill the milk and keep it cool. It

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