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Construction of a cheese farm

A DAIRY FARM FOR HIGH-QUALITY, DURABLE FOOD

High-quality and durable foods, such as cheese, increase the value of the staple milk and secure in this way the food supply and economic survival of the Maasai

Donations from VACCINATION FOR AFRICA 2010 and 2011 were used for the construction of a cheese farm factory in the tribal area of the Parakuyo-Maasai in East Africa. The products produced there, such as milk, cheese and butter, will make an important contribution to securing the livelihood of the Maasai.

Why a cheese factory?
The Maasai are semi-nomads who live with and from their cattle herds. The milk obtained from these animals is an important staple and a valuable commodity at the same time. Cheese production should now evolve alongside sales of fresh milk as an additional economic pillar for the Maasai families. Thus, not only the value of milk can be increased, but it results in a durable, high-quality food. The high standards achieved in the new dairy production unit should ensure the production of safe and healthy dairy products.

Project go-ahead in October 2010
During the first half of October 2010, the organisation's president Dagmar Schoder flew to Tanzania to visit the Maasai and to witness the building intended for conversion into the cheese factory and to work out concrete plans with those involved. She took with her in her baggage numerous cheese samples from Austria. With the help of the local people, we could determine which type of cheese tasted best for them and therefore which products should be produced. A market analysis was also conducted and a marketing strategy plan developed.

TIP: During this visit a short video was made, which can be viewed here.

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR

The first cheese training or trial production took place on a small scale in Tanzania. Enthusiasm for the new technology, and the tasty end result, were great!

Which cheese tastes best in Africa?
Cheese is a new, high-quality food for the Maasai, and because tastes obviously differ, cheese tastings were carried out on-site to determine which type of cheese is preferred. Both adults and children took part, and the result was clear: There was unambiguous victory for mild, semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda, while soft, odorless, and taste-intensive varieties drew rather funny comments and reactions ...

Training started
In February 2010, the Maasai women produced the first cheese in the village (=Boma) of the clan chief, under supervision. They were very enthusiastic about the end product and are also looking forward to the new income with which they will pay for school fees for the children of the Boma.

African cheese expert trained
John Laffa, a Tanzanian graduate agriculturalist, was trained as a cheese expert in Austria. John visited Vienna several times and went through an intensive training program here. Part of his training was studying at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.

Know-how from Austria
Austria is a classic cheese-producing country and has the necessary know-how for the production of safe, high quality cheese products. Training is supervised by cheese expert Wolfgang Scholz (former Dairy Master in Food Technological Center Wolfpassing and author) and Prof. Dagmar Schoder.

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