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Milk for well being and wealth – supporting small dairy producer communities in Lebanon | FAO

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The dairy sector is among the major sources of revenue for rural households in Lebanon, significantly within the Northern area and within the Bekaa, the place practically 70 p.c of the dairy cows are concentrated. A survey performed by FAO in 2011, confirmed that round 70 p.c of the small farmers in these two areas have been poor or very poor with wage ranges among the many lowest within the nation. To assist these small farmers rehabilitate their livelihoods, which had been closely affected by the warfare in 2006, FAO and the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture joined palms and, with the help of the Lebanon Restoration Fund, launched two tasks to rehabilitate the dairy sector in Lebanon, with particular help to the small-scale farmers within the Bekaa Valley and Hermel Akkar Uplands. The collaboration has contributed to a big quantitative and qualitative enchancment of the milk produced not solely within the two areas but additionally everywhere in the nation. The improved high quality and hygienic requirements of the milk ultimately led to extra aggressive milk costs and contributed to sustaining the livelihoods and incomes of many small breeders within the Bekaa Valley and in Hermel Akkar Uplands.

Georgette comes house and units the desk. She brings out a big number of cheeses and chilly drinks, all labelled with the identify of the corporate she owns. Her husband, Pascal, has invited neighbours to hitch them on the dinner desk and style the meals from their very own manufacturing.

Nonetheless, this has not at all times been the case.

Within the wake of the widespread devastation brought on by the 2006 warfare, the Lebanese dairy business was delivered to its knees: a really excessive variety of livestock perished throughout the battle and plenty of dairy farms have been pressured to close down their actions. In keeping with the Ministry of Agriculture, within the Bekaa Valley solely, the full variety of dairy cows had dropped from 25,000 heads to about 18,000 heads after the warfare.

Lebanon acquired from the worldwide neighborhood US$45 million for reconstruction.

The dairy sector, which is among the major sources of revenue for rural households in Lebanon, was focused by many interventions, significantly within the Northern area and within the Bekaa, the place practically 70 p.c of the dairy cows are concentrated and a lot of the smallholders counting on livestock for his or her livelihoods are very weak.

By means of a multi-year program funded by the Lebanon Restoration Fund, FAO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon, ramped-up its help to the small-scale dairy sector throughout Lebanon.

Milk high quality and normal of manufacturing
All small dairy farms focused by this system lacked milk storage and cooling services. After milking, the milk was saved in metallic or plastic open containers, uncovered to direct daylight and street mud. The low hygienic requirements within the manufacturing and distribution of milk have been putting in danger the well being of producers and shoppers alike.

“With our vehicles that weren’t refrigerated we weren’t in a position to distribute the milk very far. If the milk will not be refrigerated after milking, it spoils in a couple of hours. Our milk didn’t attain far and its high quality was not excellent. Because of this dairy factories have been controlling the worth of milk,” says Georgette.  

To assist farmers type out of their dependence on dairy factories, this system arrange a community of dairy cooperatives that helped them obtain economy-sized merchandise, and strengthened their energy of negotiation on the milk worth.

Forty main milk assortment centres have been constructed in numerous villages and positioned in locations that farmers may simply entry. Farmers have been supplied with completely different instruments and gear for milk testing, processing and storage – filtering, pumping and laboratory machines, stainless-steel containers for transportation, fridges and refrigerated vehicles – and have been skilled to make use of them.

300 women-headed households and girls cooperatives have been supported with small and medium dairy processing items with equipment for house dairy processing. Consequently, the standard of their merchandise considerably improved producing a direct enhance in demand.

After two years…
Some 350 villages are actually lined by a community of  35 Village Dairy Producers’ Affiliation that give small-scale producers rather more negotiating energy. Bigger factories are not in a position to impose costs.

The milk assortment centres are at present gathering greater than 150-200 tonnes of milk per day from some 3,000 farmers and FAO is getting ready to arrange one other 10 centres.

Farmers now know the best way to analyse the milk and check its high quality earlier than distributing it to factories inside and out of doors the area.

“Previously, we used to work for about 20 hours a day to earn sufficient cash to outlive the next day. We bought uncooked milk to factories at very low costs, costs that solely suited them. In the present day, due to the tasks, our lives have modified. I’m so glad I can enrol my youngsters at school! Now, at occasions, we don’t know the best way to meet the calls for that come to us from close by cities and the capital, as individuals come to us from in every single place. They just like the cheese we produce”, mentioned Georgette.

Thanks to those two tasks, the standard of milk and dairy merchandise of the smallholder farmers went by means of a significant enchancment. This introduced a rise in milk costs on the farm gate from LBP 650 – 850 to LBP 950 – 1100, with a premium of LBP 100-200 per kg for refrigerated milk. The introduction of recent gear and cooling centres is benefiting over 3,000 farmers, particularly girls, and has elevated their  manufacturing capability by some 50 p.c.  


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