Community Training on Improving Traditional Milk Processing in Sugd Province, Tajikistan
Hilali, Muhi El-Dine
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In Sugd Province, Tajikistan, most sheep and goats are kept in small flocks on household farms. Sheep and goats generally go to summer pastures for the summer, returning to village pastures for the winter period. In some cases where the owners cannot afford the costs of shepherding, animals are kept on overgrazed village pastures all year round. There are no decentralized milk collection and cooling facilities. The targeted villages are 1) Taboshar community that encompasses 190 households/farmers in Taboshar. The main activities are animal breeding, dairy processing and handcraft from goat hair, 2) Zartepa community that encompasses 70 households/farmers in the Chashmasor jamoat/municipality, the main activities are animal breeding, dairy processing and small gardening and 3) Gafur farm near Dulona community that encompasses 450 households/farmers, in the Mehrobod jamoat/municipality. The system is characterized as pastoralists and the main activities are goat breeding for angora hair and milk production, processing is an additional activity. The main dairy product produced in the province is curd; a dried fermented milk that is in the shape and size of marbles, butter and cheese. Curd is the main product produced and is easy to carry and transport in a pastoral community and could be considered as a reach protein food. However, the hygienic procedure and hygiene quality of dairy products was low. The adoption of dairy technologies and hygiene procedures at small scale is essential to improve the production, marketing, and income of the pastoralists. Building on local knowledge is essential to improve local product and to inject suitable simple technologies.