In celebrating World Milk Day on 1 June, ICARDA in collaboration with Jordan’s National Center for Agriculture and Extension (NCARE), organized a three-day practical course on enhancing traditional dairy processing and milk quality in Al Majedeah village, in the Badia region, some 30 kilometers south of the country’s capital, Amman.
The course taught rural women how to maximize the benefits of dairy production, and utilize new techniques to reduce water and energy consumption.
Women are at the core of Jordan’s dairy processing sector, forming the majority of its workforce. Improving the productivity, hygiene and profitability of dairy production generates fundamental improvement for the livelihoods of producers’ families.
Dr. Muhi El-Din Hilali, a specialist in dairy production at ICARDA, spoke about preparation techniques that communities could adopt to enhance nutrition and extend the shelf life of dairy products such as ghee, white cheese, jameed and labneh, as well as products that can be conserved in olive oil for sustained periods under normal temperatures, such as skimmed cheese and labneh balls.
The trainees also learnt how marketing processed milk products could be more profitable compared to selling fresh milk, and they subsequently decided to set up an association to sell these products to the wider community.
The most important part of the course was improving the quality and safety of products. Farmers were told about milk pasteurization, cream separation using a milk fat separator machine, milk standardization, and the preparation of butter and ghee.
Publications related to milk processing technologies for small-scale producers and milk processing hygiene were distributed, in addition to thermometers.
About 13.4% of Jordan’s milk is produced from sheep. Small scale milk processing is an important part of the livelihoods of sheep and goat keepers and contributes up to 20% of household incomes. ICARDA, in collaboration with its partners, supports the improvement of the productivity and income of households dependent on dairy production.