The preparation of traditional milk products in the regions and countries covered by reports from several contributors and respondents to the FAO world survey is influenced by many factors including agricultural practices, animal husbandry, periods of availability of milk as influenced by weather, climate, stage of development of commercial milk processing in individual countries, eating habits of the rural and urban populations etc. and facilities for conservation of milk etc.
Of very considerable influence is the species of animal used for milk production and other agricultural purposes, the breeds of the different species used for milk production and the composition and suitability of the milk of different species for the preparation of milk products.
The composition of milk from different species is given in Table 1.
The general importance of the individual species for milk production in various regions is summarised in Table 2.
|East African Zebu (2)||5.50||3.30||4.70||0.76||14.30|
|Yak and yak|
|(solids-non- fat about 11)|
|(1–7 below cited by Kurwijila (1989)|
1 Nicholson (1983)
2 Musangi (1971)
3 Webb, Johnson and Alford (1974)
4 Gall ((1975)
5 Devendra (1975)
6 Kurwijila (1988b)
7 IDF (1969)
8 Aneja (1989)
9 Nembang (1989)
|Region and Country||Except where stated, the figures are percentages (to the nearest whole figure) of the total milk production of the country, produced by individual species.|
|Africa - southern and eastern||69||11||15||Used in some countries in the region||A source of milk in arid and semiarid areas. There are no camels in countries south of Kenya|
|Ethiopia1||72||8||12||Provides milk for the Gabbra of southern Ethiopia|
|Kenya1||89||3||7||Important source of milk for the Turkana|
|Sudan1||59||23||18||Provides milk for desert Bedouins|
|Tanzania1||87||13||Several hundred buffalo are kept on one research station|
|West Africa - Mali2||61||18||21|
|Southcone3 Countries of Latin America||Nearly all the milk produced which is commerialised||of importance in some areas|
|Middle East-Syria4||48||45||7||Introduced in 1985|
|Indian sub-continent5||Important producer of milk||Used for milk production in some parts of the region||Used for milk production in some parts of the region||Important producer of of milk||Used for milk production in some parts of the region||Used for milk production in some parts of the region|
|Nepal and Bhutan6||Important milk animal in the mid- hills and terai||Use for milk production in the midhills and terai||Important milk animal in the Alpine areas|
1. Kurwijila (1989)
2. Bekele (1989)
3. Brito (1989)
4. Korenfaleh and Labban (1989)
5. Aneja (1989)
6. Nembang (1989)
|(thousand metric tons)||('000)||supply (kg)|
Source: FAO, Rome (1987)
* FAO, Production Yearbook, 1983
Source: Kurwijila (1989)
MILK SUPPLY. According to FAO (1987) estimates, sixteen countries in southern and eastern Africa listed in Table 3 produced about 7 million metric tons of milk in 1985. Of the total milk produced, about 69 per cent was cow milk while sheep and goats produced respectively 11 per cent and 15 per cent of the total. The remaining 5 per cent difference which was not given in the FAO estimates of the contribution of individual animal species was presumably milk produced from a few herds of water buffaloes and camels. The 1983 FAO human population estimates have been included in Table 3 so as to provide a clue as to the per capita supply of total milk and specific animal species milk in the individual countries and the sub-region as a whole.
There is no doubt that cow milk is the most important in the sub-region even though the per capita goat milk production of 54 and 27 kg/annum for Somalia and Sudan respectively imply that such milk plays an important role in the diet of specific communities in the two countries. Sheep milk is also produced in considerable amounts in Sudan (29.5 kg per capita) and Somalia (20.5 kg per capita). Goat milk plays a less significant role in Kenya (4.2 kg per capita), Botswana (3.4 kg per capita), Tanzania (3.1 kg per capita), Ethiopia (2.8 kg per capita) and Mozambique (0.8 kg per capita). Apart from Sudan and Somali, sheep milk appears to play some role in Ethiopia (1.9 kg per capita) and Kenya (1.5 kg per capita) but not in the rest of the countries of the sub-region.
The per capita milk supply reviewed above may not mean much when translated into actual milk consumption by individuals in the respective countries. Whereas cow milk is universally accepted wherever cattle are raised, the usage of milk from sheep, goat, camel and other less well known milch animals varies from one community to another within the same country, region or even district depending on cultural habits and preferences. Studies done at the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have revealed that the Borana pastoralists seldom drink sheep milk whereas goat milk is often used as a dry season reserve, particularly for children. In Kenya, the Turkana people take milk from both sheep and goat while the Maasai, Samburu and Kenya Borana use only goat milk (Nicholson, 1984). Non-pastoral tribes rarely consume goat or sheep milk except for medicinal purposes.
In the arid and semi-arid areas of Africa, the camel is an important source of milk for the Gabbra of Southern Ethiopia, the Turkana in Kenya and desert Bedouins (Nicholson, 1984). There are no camels in countries South of Kenya. In Tanzania several hundred buffaloes are kept on one research station and the acceptability of buffalo milk has not been reported to be a problem.
The estimates of the milk available for traditional milk processing and marketing in countries of southern and eastern Africa in 1985 are given in Table 4.
|Country||Total cow milk||Traditionally processed milk (estimate)||Milk Converted to butter + buttermilk||Commercially processed milk|
Source: Compiled by Kurwijila (1989)
1 Kakunze, (1984)
2 Abate et al (1984)
3 Kumwenda (1984)
4 Mavuso and Dlamini (1984)
5 Lohay (1988)
6 Kaluba (1984)
* A figure of 195 million litres for Zimbabwe (FAO, 1985) appearsto be an underestimate by at least 50% vis a vis a cattle populationof 5 million (Mupunga, 1987) which should product about 160 millionlitres of milk if one assumes that 20% are in milk each year andproduce 160 1 per lactation.
** The 202 million litres handled commercially by the Zimbabwe DairyMarketing Board came largely from the 100,000 head of dairy cattle(Mupunga, 1987, Rodriquez, 1987).
MILK COMPOSITION. Information on the milk composition of indigenous stock, particularly of sheep and goats is very scanty if not lacking. Table 1 gives the gross milk composition of Ethiopian Borana cattle (Nicholson, 1983) and some generalised data on the east African Zebu (Musangi, 1971), sheep and goats (Gall, 1975). In each case, the composition of milk of temperate breeds of cattle, sheep or goats has been included to give a comparison of chemical quality.
Generally, indigenous stock produce small quantities of milk which is more highly concentrated in terms of total solids and butterfat than milk produced by dairy breeds of temperate countries.
BACTERIOLOGICAL QUALITY. Due to the rather simple conditions under which milking takes place (see section 3), it would be expected that milk produced in developing countries would have very high initial bacterial contamination. However, due to the minimal use of equipment and the practice of milking directly into the milk storage vessels, milk produced under traditional systems tends to have lower bacterial counts than milk produced under mechanised milking in temperate countries (IDF, 1968). An interview with local Maasai pastoralists revealed that morning milk would normally still be used for preparation of boiled tea in the morning of the second day i.e. after a 24 hour period. More detailed information on the bacteriological quality of milk under traditional milking practices is required before one can make more definite conclusions on its potential shelf-life under uncooled storage in a tropical environment.
Ethiopians have used milk as part of their diet for centuries. The importance of milk in the diet of the people differs according to the farming system. In the highlands, the rural people are sedentary farmers raising both livestock and crops. The main part of their diet consists of cereals and legumes. Milk is used for rearing calves, children, and whatever is obtained over and above is soured for beverage (irgo) and/or butter making. Soured butter milk is used for human consumption or for local cheese (ayib) production.
Amongst the lowland people, mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, milk forms a major part of their diet. The production varies according to season. In the dry season, little milk is available. However, since they own a number of milking animals, they have some milk for home consumption over and above that for calf rearing, unless it is a severe drought.
According to reports (Ministry of Agriculture, October 1979 and 1980) an estimated total of about 1.4 million metric tons of milk is produced in the country from an estimated population of 4.6 million cows, 9.3 million goats, 3 million ewes and 0.15 million camels. On a national scale the per capita milk consumption is estimated at 19 to 30 kg per annum.
According to the Production Yearbook for 1986 of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the total milk production in Mali is about 155,000 metric tons per annum. about 61 per cent, 18 per cent and 21 per cent of this total is produced by cattle, sheep and goats respectively. The bulk of the cattle milk is produced by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, where about 65 per cent of the national herd are found (Ministere Charge du Development Rural, 1982). There are large regional and seasonal differences in milk production. Owing to lack of transport facilities and relatively poor road networks, the surplus milk from the distant milk areas, cannot reach the consumer areas. Thus, this has resulted in imports of dairy products of about 7108 metric tons according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations report (Trade Yearbook, 1986). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1983b), more than half of the total imports are consumed in the capital, Bamako.
Except for those producers who are near and around urban centres, the majority of them have no milk markets. Thus the milk produced by the pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are mainly used by the family.
These countries are located from the Equator line to parallel 40.
Southcone countries of Latin America can be divided into three main groups according to the following:-
Amount of milk produced by the country.
Level of dairy technology applied.
Relationship between total milk production and milk used at the industrial dairy factories, as well as milk used to elaborate traditional dairy products on a small scale or to sell raw milk directly to the consumers.
Average milk consumption per person per year.
Level of milk self-sufficiency in each country i.e. are they traditionally exporter or importer countries.
Existence of specilized organisations in the country to assist the sector technically.
These countries are the only traditional dairy exporting countries of Latin America, thus their dairy production and processing sector have been induced to increase milk production, to adopt new technology, etc. in order to obtain dairy products in sufficient quantity and of the quality required for export. Argentina is the second milk producer in Latin America with more than 5000 million litres per year (from 1975 on) and an average milk consumption of 109 litres/person/year in 1986. In addition, large dairy industry organisations and companies and big farms have a good economic capacity to promote research work and help to create technical and scientific organisations specialized in milk production and processing such as CITIL (Dairy Industry Technological Research Centre), CERELA (Lactobacillus Reference Centre) and others.
|(Annual average for the period)|
- 1986 FAO Production Yearbook. Vol. 40. Rome 1987
- Chilean Agricultural Ministry. Agricultural Planning Office. MilkBulletin 1987.
(1) Exporter countries
(2) It is not milk consumption average
Uruguay has the highest milk consumption in Latin America, about 190 litres per head of population per year. Its total milk production in 1986 was 920 million litres. It has a very unique farmer organisation (similar to the Milk Marketing Boards of the United Kingdom) where the large milk farmers are owners of several big factories, so in an indirect way they sell their own milk for manufacture into dairy products getting the best prices for the milk produced. In addition, several other benefits such as technical assistance, low priced raw materials, etc., are provided by the same organisation, and this is the reason why most of the milk produced in Uruguay is sent to the dairy factory and the small remainder is used for traditional dairy products.
In this way, traditional dairy products are not economically attractive for dairy farmers in Argentina and Uruguay and the amount of milk used for them is minimal.
These countries may be taken as one group even though they are not geographically close and they have difference climates. Nevertheless both have a relatively well developed dairy sector which included many technical advances. Additionally both have technical assistance through specialised organisations such as the Milk Technology Centre, Valdivia (CTL) in Chile and Candido Tostes Milk Institute, Minas Gerais, Brazil. However these countries are not able by themselves to provide enought milk for the consumption needs of their own populations so both are traditional importer countries of milk products.
Brazil has the largest milk production in Latin America and ranks as 7th in the world with a milk production of 11,860 million litres in 1986 but its large population of around 141 million inhabitants allows only a consumption average pf 84.1 litres of milk per person from its own milk supply.
In the case of Chile, milk production volumes of 1,012 million litres in 1985, 1,093 in 1986 and 1,100 in 1987 were obtained and its average milk consumption per head of population from its own production only amounts to 89.4 litres of milk per year.
In addition, both countries have some similar difficulties, which do not permit them to improve their dairy sectors as they might wish, particularly in milk production. Both have a great number of small farmers which are not so efficient for various reasons. Many of these farmers do not sell their milk to the dairy factory but sell it directly to the consumers in liquid form or as traditional cheese or other typical dairy products. In the particular case of Chile around 40 per cent of total milk produced does not go to the dairy factory, so the small dairy product makers in Chile make up a very important part of the dairy sector.
This group is the least developed in dairy production of the three southcone groups. Peru and Bolivia belong to the Andean area and Paraguay to the tropical one, but all of them have relatively poor weather conditions for milk production, which despite natural disadvantages could be developed but with more difficulty than the countries of the other groups.
There are very few dairy factories in these countries. Normally the existing factories do not employ much technology and they have very little capacity for milk processing.
Normally, there are some international dairy factories as well, such as European (Nestle) and USA factories with large capacities for milk processing which produce specific types of product like powdered milk, and evaporated and condensed milks.
Consequently in the countries of this group a large proportion of the available fresh milk is used on the farm of production to prepare traditional dairy products using very simple equipment and a rudimentary method. Alternatively raw milk is sold directly to the consumer. Due to imprecise legislation, if any exists, raw milk marketing or dairy product preparation from raw milk is currently allowed.
Therefore, the main countries involved in the preparation of traditional dairy products are the least developed in the general dairy production sector, that is to say countries from Group 4.3 (Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay), followed by countries of Group 4.2 (Chile and Brazil). Group 4.1 countries (especially Uruguay) are practically irrelevant in traditional dairy products made on dairy farms.
Milk production in Syria is based on cow milk (48 per cent), sheep milk (45 per cent) and goat milk (7 per cent).
In the past ten years, cow and sheep milk production has more than doubled, but the country still continues to import a sizeable amount of milk and its products.
However, the government of Syria has made and is making considerable efforts and investments in order to develop this sector of animal production and progress has been achieved in many areas, for example in the establishment of high yielding herds of exotic breeds (such as the Freisian) located on state farms as well as the development of artificial insemination services and distribution of feedstuffs.
However, many problems still remain in the production, processing and marketing areas that need additional efforts and inputs to address the major constraints that continue to limit the development of the milk production sector.
The main sources of milk in Syria are cows, sheep and goats in this order of quantity of milk produced. Table 7 shows the total population of cattle, sheep and goats from 1963 to 1987.
From Table 7 it may be seen that in 1987 the total population of cattle in Syria was 710,000 head consisting of about 285,200 lactating cows producing 583,300 metric tons of milk of which 293,384 metric tons were consumed as fresh milk around the main cities and production centres.
Cow milk from Syria comes from two main sources:-
One source is state farms and governmental cattle centres. The second source is the private sector producers or small holder farmers.
The governmental centres or cattle stations have only about 3037 lactating cows producing 13,937 metric tons of milk which represents only 2 per cent of the total produced in Syria.
The remaining part of the cattle population of Syria is owned by the private sector which is considered as the most important contributor to milk production since it contributes 98 per cent of the total cow milk output.
The herd size of the small holders ranges between 1 and 10 cattle. Milk production from cows is summarized in table 8.
|Breed||Total Number||Average Yield|
|Total Yield (metric tons)|
|(Akshi & Jolani)||123,985||949,292||117,698|
Milk production on the state farms is high; the average lactational milk production per cow is over 4500 kg. This yield compares favourably with yields obtained from milking cows in the developed countries. However, the national average milk production per cow per lactation continues to be low at around 1600 kg.
The second source of milk production in Syria is sheep and more specifically the local Awassi breed which is considered the national breed in Syria, the national flock totals about 14 million head. At present more than 80 per cent of the flock grazes in the steppe region in nomadic flocks. Unfortunately, the steppe area does not have the capacity to support the existing number of sheep and consequently over-grazing has led to deterioration of the feed base in the steppe.
The 14 million head of sheep has about 7,624,071 head of lactating ewes producing about 457,215 metric tons of raw milk with an average production of 59.9 kg per head per lactation. An amount of 5,943 metric tons are consumed as fresh milk around the production centres but 80 per cent is converted into dairy products.
As regards the milk production from sheep, the governmental centres have 5,976,000 head of sheep producing about 358,000 metric tons of milk the remaining 59,215 metric tons being produced by nomadic flocks in the steppe area which mostly depend on natural range and grasslands for sheep feeding.
Goats are the third most important source of milk in Syria. The total number of goats in Syria is 1,002,000 head of which 666,126 are lactating females producing about 66,977 metric tons of milk annually with an average of 100.5 kg per head per lactation.
About 20,402 metric tons which represents 30 per cent of the total goat milk production are consumed as fresh milk. The breeds of goats and their milk production are shown in Table 9.
|Breeds||Total Number||Average Yield|
|Total Yield (metric tons)|
Syria has had a few buffaloes since 1985. The herd number about 1,123 head producing about 852 metric tons of milk, and is located in a very narrow strip, around Homs, Hama and the Al Ghab plain.
In summary, the annual milk production in Syria amounts to 1,107,907 metric tons of which about 373,217 metric tons (35 per cent of the total) are consumed as fresh milk.
Only 5 per cent of the annual production is converted into ghee (butter oil), 31 per cent is processed into local cheese and about 5 per cent is made into butter, the rest is processed into other products such as labaneh, shenglish, karisheh etc.
Until now there are no governmental centres for milk production from goats but goat raising is carried out by some crop farmers and with the nomadic sheep flocks.
Pastoral economy formed the basis of the Indo-Aryan civilization which thrived in India long before the Christian Era. Dairying was an integral part of that civilization. It took its roots in the north west part of the country and spread virtually to the whole of the sub-continent. Dairying has been a rural activity in India and the neighbouring countries from time immemorial.
Milk production in India is largely based on the utilisation of crop residues like wheat/paddy straw, millet stovers etc. Since Indian agriculture continues to depend largely on the monsoon rains, the availability of crop residues is highly seasonal. Milk production in India is therefore concentrated between November - February, generally referred to as the flush season. April - September (summer season) are the lean months for milk production. Two thirds of the annual milk production takes place during the four-month flush season.
Milk produced in excess of the daily requirements for direct consumption was traditionally converted into various dairy products with a longer shelf life and thus the different methods of preservation of milk began.
Figure 1 shows the flow chart of milk converted into traditional milk products in the region.
Milk Production. The buffalo and the cow and to a very limited extent the goat are the main milch animals in the Indian sub-continent. The buffalo contributes some 64 per cent, the cow 33 per cent and the goat 3 per cent of the total milk produced in India. India has the largest milch animal population in the world. Milk of the camel, sheep and yak is used in some parts of the region.
The cattle and buffalo populations in the Indian sub-continent are shown in Table 10 and the milk production in these countries is shown in Table 11.
Fig 1. Flow chart of conversion of milk into traditional Indian dairy products.
|Union of Mynamar||9,912||2,189|
|(thousand metric tons)|
|Union of Mynamar||282||631||649||652|
There are several well recognised breeds of cows and buffaloes in the region such as Red Sindhi, Gir, Tharparkar, and Sahiwal among the cows, and Murrah and Neeli Ravi among the buffaloes, are outstanding breeds. The milk of the buffalo is comparatively richer in fat content than that of the cow as shown in Table 1.
Because of the lack of scientific animal husbandry and nutritional practices, the yield of the milch animals in the region has been rather low compared to that of the dairy cow in the advanced dairy countries. A beginning has been made since the middle of this century in the scientific management and feeding of cattle, highlighted by the Operation Flood programme of establishing vertically integrated cooperative dairy projects. The trend towards increased milk production in India is evident from Figure 2. Milk production which amounted to 17 million metric tons in 1950–51 has increased to 46 million tons in 1986–87. It is expected that milk production will increase to 65 million metric tons in 2000 AD. The increase in milk production is to be ascribed to the establishment of rural dairies largely in the cooperative sector. These have contributed to the upgrading of animals, better feeding practices and well organised veterinary services, including artificial insemination. The population of the cross-bred cows and the upgraded buffaloes is expected to increase the milk production significantly.
The scientific organisation of Indian dairying started with the establishment of military dairy farms and cooperative milk unions throughout the country towards the end of the nineteenth century. Organised marketing with the application of advanced dairy technology commenced only in 1954 with the establishment of the Amul Dairy which was the first dairy in the region to manufacture milk powder, condensed milk and cheese from buffalo milk. Amul Dairy now handles some one million litres of milk per day.
While the rich in India consume the bulk of the milk either as liquid milk or as milk products, the lower income groups consume most of the milk they obtain in tea and coffee as shown in Table 12.
|Number of families||10,000||60,000||30,000|
|Average amount (litres) of milk used per family per day||3||1||0.3|
|Use in tea and coffee (per cent)||25||50||90|
Fig 2. India - Milk production and per capita availability
For the preparation of traditional milk products, milk is the main source of raw material where the milk cannot be sold as liquid milk. The manufacture of traditional milk products is usually done from the milk of yak or chauri, cow and buffalo. In the alpine region of the Himalayan area, the traditional milk products are generally made from yak, cow and chauri milk. In the midhills and terai the milk is from the cow and buffalo
NEPAL. Livestock are an integral component of the agricultural production systems in Nepal, a country with a human population of 17,2 millions. Livestock statistics show (Nembang, 1989) that in Nepal in 1987/88 there were 6,343 million cattle, 2,952 million buffalo, 0.2 million yak and chauri (a yak cross-bred with Nepalese cattle), 0.873 million sheep, 5,211 million goats.
The number of cows in milk in the country is estimated to be 0.683 million i.e. 10.8 per cent of the total cattle population. Buffalo in milk are estimated at 0.735 million i.e. 24.9 per cent of total buffalo.
The total milk production from cattle and buffalo is estimated at 808,000 metric tons per year excluding the milk produced by yak and chauries.
The typical Nepalese cow produces milk with 3.6 per cent of fat which compares with 6.5 to 8.0 per cent for the buffalo.
The milk of the yak cow (a nak) is a rich golden colour and has a high fat content of 7–9 per cent.
The Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) received 785,972 kg of yak/chauri milk annually in the cheese factory areas. The remainder of yak/chauri milk in Nepal is converted into traditional milk products where there is no market access for selling the milk in liquid form.
BHUTAN. Bhutan has a human population of 1.2 million. Livestock are an integral component of the agricultural production systems.
There are an estimated 30,000 yaks in Bhutan. These animals and their hybrid crosses provide milk, butter, cheese for home consumption or for sale or exchange for food grains and other necessities.
The chauri produces more milk than the pure-bred yak but the fat content (6 per cent) is slightly less than that (6.5 per cent) given by the yak.
It is estimated that there are about 0.310 million cattle in Bhutan. The predominant breed is the Siri. This breed is crossed with Nepalese cattle to produce a very hardy animal known as the Kachcha siri or imitation siri. Milk production by this animal is quite poor with an average production of 150–250 kg per lactation with calving intervals of about 700 days. The fat content of the milk varies from 6 to 10 per cent.
Jatsam cows (mithun cattle crossed with the siri) produce more milk of higher butter fat content.
Bhutan has 5,700 buffalo, 37,500 sheep and 37,000 goats. Goat rearing is not encouraged by the government because of the danger of damage to the forest.