Adding value: cheese technologies in Morocco

May 31, 2011 at 8:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Improved cheese processing technologies can significantly improve producers’ incomes, and create new opportunities in urban markets

Value addition – for example, simple home-based methods to produce high-quality, high-value dairy products – is an important component of livestock projects being implemented jointly by INRA-Morocco and ICARDA. One such project, in the Ouarzazate region, is helping to increase farm incomes through improved methods of producing cheese from goat milk. The project is funded through Morocco’s contribution to the CGIAR.

At a meeting held in Ouarzazate on 10 May, the project team presented results from three years of research, and discussed how best to build on this work. The findings covered several areas: local know-how on goat cheese processing, marketing pathways between local dairies and Ouarzazate city, income gains for cheese producers and physicochemical studies (composition, quality) of locally produced goat milk and cheese. The meeting was jointly organized by research (INRA’s regional center in Errachidia) and extension (Regional Office for Agricultural Development, Ouarzazate) agencies. Clearly, all partners are ready to scale up results. Cheese producers are convinced of the benefits, and keen to adopt new processing technologies; researchers and extension agencies are willing to provide staff resources for a targeted program to upgrade manufacturing practices at the three local cheese units.

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