Yemeni dairy farmers are producing more milk to feed their children and community

(Photo: FAO)

In Yemen, where 17 million people (60 percent of the population) are severely food insecure and malnutrition rates are high, FAO is helping to protect dairy farmers’ herds and enable them to produce more nutritious milk to feed their children and communities. Currently, milk production in Yemen meets just one-third of the demand. To reduce reliance on the expensive imported powdered and ultra-pasteurized milk on which many depend – especially children and pregnant and breastfeeding women – FAO assisted rural communities to safeguard their livestock by providing and improving animal health services, distributing feed and enhancing access to water. Livestock health improved, resulting in enhanced milk production.

Energy-rich feed has been key to increasing the availability of locally produced milk and dairy products. Concentrated feed and multinutrient blocks were distributed in four governorates. As a result, milk production increased by up to 1.5 litres per cow every day. Feed blocks present nutritional and economic advantages: one USD 4 feed block is sufficient to supplement one milking cow for three to four weeks. The resulting increased milk production of up to 25 litres is valued at USD 15. The sale of surplus milk increased families’ income and improved nutrition for the community.

FAO improved dairy processing in five governorates by providing farmers, including many women, with modern equipment and training. Improving the quality of milk products resulted in prices rising by 13 percent, translating into better income for the producers.