In Tombouctou area in Mali, on the 25th of February 2010, the eagerly awaited dairy plant for local communities in Léré was officially opened.
Officiated by the deputy commissioner of Léré district, the opening ceremony gathered the mayors of Dianké, Gathi loumo, Dioura and Nampalari municipalities, the Deputy Mayor of Léré, the heads and members of the livestock administration, representatives of associations of women farmers and young people, representatives of engineering in agriculture, livestock and the environment and milk producers.
Léré is a pastoralism area which runs short of milk during the dry season due to lack of browse for cattle. Now with the dairy plant, the local population can benefit from daily supply of high quality fresh milk. In addition, incomes of milk producers have increased significantly in reflecting the increase in supply of milk from 2 to 5 litres a day.
More than 40 heads of cattle have been providing around 3,780 litres of fresh milk between March and May 2010. These are mostly Zebu cows from the Peuls, the Maures and the Touaregs. According to the monitoring team, at least 20 farmers deliver milk to the dairy plant on a daily basis.
The milk is received by 4 plant production workers who initiate the processing activities. There is also a special management committee composed of milk producers, representatives of animal keepers associations and women's associations that have been set up by the local communities and one facilitator. This committee will ensure the sustainability of the milk factiory.
70% of milk sold is pasteurized and the rest is processed into yogurt and traditional milk curds called "féné".
Facilities in the dairy plant include a pasteurizer unit and 6 gas cylinders to operate it, a solar refrigerator, an installation of solar panels, tools that enhance transformation and conservation of milk and diverse factory maintenance and production apparatus.
"The installation of this dairy plant is in line with the aims of the Malian government to provide adequate infrastructure that supports farmers' productivity as well as ACORD's vision on food sovereignty", said Sarah Théophile, ACORD regional coordinator.
Despite efforts already made by the Malian government, malnutrition remains a real problem of family health. Therefore, ACORD and its partners believe with great conviction that the establishment of this dairy enterprise will enhance production of milk, promote incomes of families of pastoralists and improve household food hygiene.