WLI in Jordan supports holistic research on watershed management by pilot testing and promoting adoption of sustainable water and land management practices, and empowering local communities to seek alternative income generating opportunities to effectively reduce pressure on fragile resources. Recently, the WLI through its partner – the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), supported a three-day practical training on simple techniques that can enhance milk quality and marketing opportunities.
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. The training was delivered by Dr. Muhi El-Din Hilali, a specialist in dairy production at ICARDA and focused on rural women in Al Majedeah village located within WLI’s benchmark site in the country.
Women are at the core of Jordan’s dairy processing sector, but often reap the least benefit from their labor. The milk produced in the village is sold to milk processing companies at very low prices. By equipping the women with essential skills that improve the productivity, hygiene, nutrition, and shelf-life of dairy products; as well as reduce water and energy consumption; and overall profitability. The training focused on selected dairy products that are commonly consumed or marketed in the area including 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. At the end of the training, the women decided to set up an association that would allow them to pull their resources together and engage in large scale milk processing ventures.