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Women are milk!

María Rodríguez @MariaRgez. Periodista. Estudiante del Máster de Relaciones Internacionales y Estudios Africanos de prácticas en Senegal.

Reportaje.- Alliance solidarity with their local partners in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Gambia is implementing a project to support the dairy sector through improving the stables and the creation of units of milk processing. Sustainable local development led by African women!

Alianzaporlasolidaridad_presidenta unidad de transformación lechera Pata

En el año 2007 una ONG senegalesa de Kolda, una ciudad del sur de este país, emprendió un proyecto para apoyar al sector lechero local. ¿El objetivo? Aumentar la producción para asegurar la seguridad alimentaria. Todo parecía ir sobre ruedas hasta que se dieron cuenta de que la leche que los hombres vendían ya no era aceptada por las unidades de transformación debido a que su calidad había disminuido. ¿Cómo podía ser esto posible? ¿Qué estaba ocurriendo? Los hombres volvían decepcionados a casa y entregaban la leche a las mujeres. Ellas la utilizaban no solo para alimentar a la familia sino también para venderla transformada por ellas mismas y ganar un poco de dinero que invertían de nuevo en el hogar.

Research carried out by the NGO uncovered what was happening. Were women. Among all came to an agreement, the quality of milk should decrease if they wanted to see some of the money was obtained from that activity. It was the perfect strategy. Thus men could not sell the milk and, without being aware of what was happening, gave the product to women, just as it was planned. But why did you take this decision? Fatoumata Bintou explains Correa, head of gender FODDE organization, along with two partners undertook this project, it was "[...] strength of women. They did not see the benefits of the dairy farm. Men said to them, 'I had to fix the bike', 'what I used to go see my cousin' ... But a woman all you get is invested in home and family”.

In the 90s cooperation began making large investments in dairy processing, an activity to which women have traditionally been dedicated. "The men were in charge of the cows and stables women milk processing and sale. This allowed women to solve small problems"Says Fatoumata. However, after they began to finance the dairy processing and this activity would allow more benefits "men were interested in this production and women began to lose control in this work that was traditionally for women"Says Bintou Correa.

It's a lesson learned. This experience served FODDE, the NGO situated in Kolda (Senegal) cooperating with Alianza por la SolidaridadTo understand that when a project is necessary to take into account the views of all those involved and especially women. In this way, as explained Fatoumata "the program has decided to carry out an affirmative. We want to change the situation and that is why we have decided that the management of dairy processing units is entrusted to women”.

Improving milk production in a sustainable manner throughout the year

Cows do not produce milk Seith Mbaye between April and August. Even the rainy months (June, July and August) when southern Senegal is covered with green and cows can eat well, or drop is seen. "They are weak from not having food all previous months. When the rains come is when recovered. And only then is when produce some milk”, explica Seith Mbaye. Improvements to the stables, as well as improving the nutrition of ruminants, have enabled not have any milk, cows Seith Mbaye occur between 3 and 4 liters of milk per day per cow continuously. "We can now self-sufficient and also sell some milk"He says. Seith is president Mbaye milk production area Hamdallaye Samba Mbaye (Senegal). Explain that when he met the initiative was he who was a candidate for his stables were part of the project. "I realized that the housing and new techniques were advantages. Look at the cows, just look at them"Seith Mbaye explained with a smile, pointing to one of the cows in the stables. Alianza por la Solidaridad establos mejorados

A little more than 15 kilometers from the stables of Seith Mbaye of the milk processing units are located. Is not yet finished but already has a name, "Samba Gnonko" after the farmer more and more milk cows had Pata area (Senegal) account as the president of this processing unit, Oumou Diallo. "In society women are more vulnerable than men, but it is she who brings the house, which he devotes all home wins. It's time to blame the woman to make visible the fundamental role played by women"Said Diallo. For her, the fact that women will manage the processing units "valorizarnos will allow. What men do is recognized, but not the work of women. This will be a chance for the effort of women is valued and to contribute to improving the welfare of the family". There will be two processing units, one in Pata, border area between southern Senegal and Gambia and one in Nianao, on the border between Senegal and Guinea Bissau, because this project is carried out within a cross-border program that takes out Alliance for Solidarity in these three countries. There shall be obtained pasteurized fresh milk, fresh curd, cheese, butter and yogurt or "fruity" with different local juices.

The processing units are located 15 kilometers from the stables because the transport of milk as quickly as possible should be done so that it does not deteriorate. Avoid curdling milk before pasteurization to make the process quality and milk remains in optimal conditions of hygiene” explica Aladji Diack, técnico de seguridad alimentaria de Alianza por la Solidaridad. Hay establos que sin embargo se encuentran más lejos. Para resolverlo, se han decidido crear cuatro centros de colecta, dos en la frontera sur y dos en la frontera norte, equipados con lo necesario para la buena conservación del producto, donde los establos más lejanos podrán vender la leche. Pero esta telaraña no puede funcionar sin unos hilos que la unan. El transporte desde los establos a los centros de colecta o bien directamente a las unidades de transformación es esencial para que esta cadena funcione. Es por ello que el proyecto cuenta con dos triciclos que, equipados con cisternas para el buen mantenimiento de la calidad de la leche, asegurarán su llegada a las unidades de transformación.

Alianza por la Solidaridad - Tratamiento de ganado Senegal What we want is that the stables depend on the processing unit, there is a dependency relationship"Says Diack. Their strategy is to be a stock of medications to treat animals, and concentrated food, which contains many nutrients that improve these ruminants in food processing units. "These products are not easy to get but if the processing unit has gathered to it. Women drive change these transformation products through milk and thus are assured of receiving part to transform and sell"Diack said.

Women are the cornerstone of food security

However, there is a certain fear among some of the women: the inability to manage the processing units. "Some think that they are not able to do without men so you have to make an effort with them but with them, because there are men who also think it is not possible for them to manage alone"Tells the genre responsible FODDE organization. There is a plan for strengthening the capacity of women to know how to work in the processing units but awareness is what becomes important. And the animators, such as Ousmane Mballo who perform this function. "Women are milk!"Said Ousmane Mballo.

Alianza por la Solidaridad mujeres senegalesasWith all this if you plan to achieve food security because "Milk is a food that completes the basic food"Explains Ndèye Aïssatou Diop, head of food safety Fodder. Because there is not enough milk is obtained not more than three months a year so it is necessary to develop our resources to gain access to the milk round. The region of Kolda (southern Senegal) has many opportunities"Explains Ndèye Aïssatou Diop. And that is: A food security project led by women; Diop says as Aïssatou "Food is the woman. She will always find something to eat”.

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"Food is the woman.

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