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Mauritania camel dairy pioneer tells of challenges

When Nancy Abeiderrahmane arrived in Mauritania in 1970, she was surprised to find that the country relied on imported milk products despite its large population of livestock. Realizing that dairying could make a big difference to the lives of people in this arid country in northwest Africa, the engineering graduate designed and built a small dairy plant in Nouakchott in 1989 to process camel milk.

The Tiviski Dairy, of which she is CEO, now buys camel, cow and goat milk from over 1000 semi-nomadic families and processes them into a range of products including pasteurized milk, ice cream, yoghurt, lassi, butter, and camel milk cheese.

The unique biochemistry of camel milk renders it difficult to process into products like cheese, so her efforts were path-breaking and an inspiration to others. Ms Abeiderrahmane is a recipient of the 1993 Rolex Award for Enterprise for her work in Mauritania.

At a workshop organized by Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan on The Camel in Rajasthan: From Heirloom to Unique Selling Point in April 2008, Ms Abeiderrahmane told the audience about the potential, problems and rewards of running a camel dairy in Mauritania.

LPPS’s Namitha Dipak interviewed her about the Tiviski Dairy. Click here to read more (pdf file).




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