Having place to sell milk to, even that changes the life of Afghans

Sep 14, 2010

One of the projects run by the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the Afghan province of Logar are milk collection centers.

”A great many of residents of the province live upon agriculture and - for many Logar families - the money earned from the sale of milk constitute a prominent source of income. Quite often, however, the conditions of milk purchase and sale are bad,“ says Zuzana Biniová, an agricultural expert deployed in the Czech PRT.

In Baraki Barak district, children have so far been selling milk simply along the roadside, being typically sent there by their parents after milking. The problem is that – in hot summers under the glowing Afghan sun – milk will often turn sour, and the family won´t get any money for it.

In Malak Abdullah Jan and Shikak villages situated in the neighboring district of Pole Alam, the situation is different. ”The Czechs have set up a new milk collection center for the locals to be able to bring in milk from their cows. We´ve got cooling tanks and so milk does not turn sour any longer,“ Muhammad Jawad from Shikak dairy explains. ”Moreover, farmers are now able to bring in even milk obtained from afternoon milking, we namely have space to stock it till morning when it gets transported to Kabul. In that way, they earn more money,“ Jawad points out.

Hence, milk collection centers change people´s lives. Exactly as Marzia Said Kamal, a woman with a slight figure in about her early fifties, hiding herself under a green headscarf, just bringing milk to the Shikak center. ”My husband is old and sick, and cannot work any more. We´ve got no children and the only money we earn, come from milk. We´ve got two cows and they provide us a living, each day we sell 15 liters of milk in the collection center. Thanks to that we are able to maintain our little home made of clay,“ Marzía narrates, adding:  ”In the past, before the Czechs had set up the diary, we would earn less and had to face the problem how to earn a living.“

This autumn, a project of a milk collection center similar to the one mentioned hereabove, will be launched in Baraki Barak, in the village of Zakum Khiel. Very soon, two more will commence to be built in Jelga and Sabzak villages in Pol-e Alam district.

Kristyna Greplova - Civilian Part of the PRT

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