For Immediate Release
Two new milk collection centers in Karrar and Garabujag villages (Kurdamir District) of Azerbaijan were opened on November 25, 2012. These Centers were established by the “Community Based Support to Producers of Dairy Products” project funded by USAID/Azerbaijan in partnership the British Petroleum (BP).
These new Centers will allow small scale dairy farmers in those communities, majority of whom are women, to sell milk to commercial processors, ensuring easy access to markets and will increase income for local residents. These Centers were inaugurated by Michael Greene, USAID/Azerbaijan Mission Director, who observed that “These kinds of projects are important because they help improve the lives of women. When women are given more responsibility and resources to invest in their families and communities, they take leadership roles and the whole community is benefiting.”
The objective of the project is to improve dairy production of small and medium sized farmers and create linkages with the regional collection centers and commercial processors.
Cattle-breeding and dairy farming are the main occupations in the Karrar and Garabujag communities. However, small farmers producing milk have been facing difficulties in selling their milk and milk products. After meeting their own needs, they sold the remaining milk for a low price in the local markets or made cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese for home-storage through the winter months. Moreover, hot weather in the summer, excess milk production, and the lack of local demand and the need to sell milk in distant markets (8-10 kms) added additional transport and time costs to the farmers and decreased the product quality.
To address these problems the, “Community Based Support to Producers of Dairy Products” project established these Centers with the support of community members. The project is implemented by the “Support to Social Development Public Union (UMID)” an Azerbaijani NGO. About 1,600 people in Karrar and 1,500 people in Garabujag will benefit from these milk collection facilities.
Last updated: March 12, 2014