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Empowering Rural Women: Milk Collection Center Drive Economic Growth in Erzurum

Turkey 08.01.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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In Erzurum, a milk collection center has become a source of livelihood for rural women. With the support of the municipality in Karayazi, Erzurum, known for its livestock, the milk collection center has provided income for 312 milk producers, the majority of whom are women, supported by the government. The center, established in September last year, has enabled these producers to sell their milk and contribute to their family's economy.
Empowering Rural Women: Milk Collection Center Drive Economic Growth in Erzurum
Source: freepik.com
Karayazi, the second-highest district in Turkey, is renowned for its rich pastures and diverse livestock, including approximately 90 thousand heads of cattle and 125 thousand heads of small ruminants. The 312 milk producers, predominantly women, sell their milk at market prices and receive compensation for their efforts, making a positive impact on both the family economy and the urban market within the framework of the milk collection center project.

The collected milk, averaging 20 tons per day in summer and 5 to 10 tons per day in winter, is sold on the Erzurum Commodity Exchange and various establishments as part of the project. The prefect of Karayazi and deputy mayor Muammar Saridogan highlighted the success of the project at an altitude of 2300 meters and emphasized the district's potential in livestock farming.

Saridogan explained that before the establishment of the milk collection center, milk gatherers would buy small quantities of milk from local producers in exchange for products like tomatoes and bread. Now, through the project, the milk produced by rural residents is sold at its true value, contributing significantly to both the family economy and the city market.

Saridogan stated that the care of animals and milk production are primarily carried out by women, and the majority of bank accounts provided for the collected milk belong to women as well. He emphasized the positive impact of compensating producers for their efforts.

As part of a new project presented to the Northeast Anatolia Development Agency in partnership with the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, the municipality aims to further enhance milk collection in the region. Saridogan mentioned the implementation of reservoirs for milk collection in seven districts and acknowledged some challenges being addressed.

The milk collection center, operated by seven personnel, collects milk at market prices. Halim Jeylan, deputy director of agriculture and forestry in the district, highlighted the initial launch of the center with a 5-ton milk cooling reservoir and subsequent capacity expansion with support from relevant institutions.

Jeylan emphasized that after necessary laboratory and medical examinations, the collected milk from 25 producers in the district is sent to refrigerated warehouses. He pointed out that the uniqueness of the center lies in rewarding people for their efforts in livestock farming, leading to increased interest and development in the sector.

Producers now sell milk at cost and receive timely payments, fostering satisfaction among them. Huriyet Bahtiyar, a 58-year-old milk producer, expressed gratitude for the municipal services, ensuring timely payments and fair compensation for their labor.

Dilek Chelik, pleased that the milk they produce is sold at a fair price, credited the municipal and district agricultural authorities for their support. Ayfer Chickek, another milk producer in the Chelikli area, commended the milk collection center for contributing significantly to their family's economy and expressed gratitude to the regional agricultural authorities and the municipality for their continued support.
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