Land of milk

The Sultanate of Oman grazing lands are estimated at about 1,4 million ha, 0,9 million ha in the north and 0,5 million ha in Dhofar Governorate in the South.  In this latter region grasslands cover about 400.000ha, and woodlands and shrub lands 100.000ha. Mountain grasslands are grazed by the Dhofari livestock: cows, goats and camels. Almost every house in Salalah/Dhofar must have animals and therefor lots of milk.What do you do when you have large quantities of several types of milk? You launch a training program for rural women that can be run from homes, utilizing their animal wealth for production of cheese.  The Ministry of ManpowerOman LNG and particularly the Ministry of Agriculture are partners involved in the project.

Around 300 women in different areas of Dhofar will be trained produces cheese such as:

Akawy’ , a white brine cheese, native to the Middle East like Syria, Lebanon,

Halloum,’ a traditional Cypriot cheese, also popular in Sweden and the rest of the Middle East with a high melting point which can easily be fried or grilled with different flavor especially with green olive and thym. Halloum is similar to mozarella.

Spreadable cheese suitable for goat and camel milk.  In the Governorate of Dhofar the number of camels is roughly estimated at 60.000. Historically camels were an important element in the prosperity of the region when the Frankincense trade was at its highest point. Many people in Salalah rely on camel milk throughout the year. Dhofar produces about  11.000 tons of it per year.

Nabulsi’ (or ‘Naboulsi’) cheese denotes its place of origin Nablus, a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank and is one of a number of white brined cheeses made in the Middle East. In Dhofar Naboulski is prepared with black cumin or black seed. Prophet Muhammed said, ‘ Black Cumin is the cure for all the diseases except Saam and ‘Saam is death.’ ( narrated Abu Huraira, Bukhari, Muslim, ibn Maja, Masnad Ahmad)

Low fat cheese, cottage cheese, full cream white cheese ( feta)

In total nearly 22 types of milk products such as yoghurt, labna or Arab yoghurt cheese, condensed milk, ice cream with different flavours, pasteurized milk with or without flavour,… are produced.

‘ Rural Women and Cheese’ aimed at enhancing the women’s role in society and enabling them economically to increase their family income on one hand and to limit migration from rural areas. The products of the ‘Rural Women and Cheese’ are available on the market. For sale points and individual household orders just contact the ‘Institute for Transformation Salalah, Dhofar’

Tel. +968 92576227, +968 92573387 trans4m_oman@yahoo.com

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