16 October 2019

World Food Day

Torpikay Malikzada

“My children are taller and healthier than other children of their age and they rarely get ill.”



Torpikay is a small dairy producer and mother of seven children who lives in the Jabul, Seraj district of Parwan province, Afghanistan. She attributes her children’s good health to improvements in her income and family diet, including access to milk every day.

Torpikay, 39, used to sell all the milk she produced to cover household expenses. Then an FAO project to support women dairy farmers helped her to improve the quality and quantity of her milk production through training in hygienic production, genetic improvement of the local cattle breed, animal feeding and husbandry, and marketing.

Torpikay learned that good animal hygiene is one of the factors that contributes to increased milk production. Her cow’s milk yields more than doubled after the training.

The project also informed her of the nutritional value of milk consumption as a source of energy, protein and calcium.

 “Before we had the awareness-raising sessions, we were not fully aware of the benefits of milk to our health. Now we drink it every day; before my kids go to bed, they take a cup of milk,” Torpikay says.

Torpikay encourages other women in the village to include milk in their meal schedules to avoid diseases caused by calcium deficiency. She has also encouraged some to join the FAO project.

The project has formed milk collection centers and dairy cooperatives at the village, district and provincial levels. Milk sold there by producers like Torpikay is then transferred to centers, where it is pasteurized and used, in part, for other dairy products.

This FAO project is supported through the Integrated Dairy Scheme (IDS), which is funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL).

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