Milk, cheese, soap …: camel in all its sauces

Extract from an article by François Brey, Camelomane.

Published in the magazine Afrique Agriculture

The objective of the Maroc Vert plan is to reach 10,000 tonnes of camel milk in 2020, compared to around 5,000 tonnes today. Cheese and cosmetics also enhance this milk, which is rich in Omega 3 and vitamin C.

In the south of Morocco, Dakhla, formerly Villa Cisneros, in the days of the Spanish Sahara, has grown in a few decades from the size of a village with mud houses, as Saint Exupéry described it, to the role of a real regional metropolis with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
An almost essential step for Aéropostale pilots, Dakhla today claims to be a major axis of communication between Morocco and its depths of Africa. The city was also the scene of the city’s 2nd International Agricultural Fair, under the theme “Feed Africa, Feed the World” (September 26-29).
“In the desert, the camel is the master”
This Fair is part of the Green Morocco plan, one of the objectives of which is to develop agriculture in the southern provinces for an overall budget of 77 billion dirhams during the decade 2016-2025. The logo of the event: a tomato resting on the hump of a camel represents the two main areas of development of the region of Dakhla, a desert of steppes and dunes plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. It is the land of the Réguibats or Ouled Delim tribes, nomadizing with their camels from Western Sahara to Mauritania. The revaluation of camelids, long disdained by the public authorities, is now part of the development policy of this region.

The cover of the magazine & nbsp; The Voice of the House & nbsp; sets the tone with the catchphrase: & nbsp; “& nbsp;” In the desert, the camel is master “. At the Halib Dakhla dairy stand, camel’s milk is in the spotlight, packaged in half-liter cardboard packaging sold for 10 dirhams, almost double the amount of cow’s milk.
Milk hardly curdles
The Ajban Dakhla cooperative presents its vacuum-packed fresh cheese. Camel cheese is the flagship product of the fair. He was even rewarded with an honorary “Label Agricole”. on the occasion of Siam 2017.
Cheese making is difficult because camel milk struggles to curdle. Fortunately, the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute in Rabat has developed a special rennet “camel milk”.

Today, the cooperative produces about twenty kilos per week, or 200 cheeses of 100 g sold for 25 dirhams each. The clientele is mainly made up of tourists, Moroccan or foreign. Carefully vacuum-packed, this is the “& nbsp; terroir & nbsp;” product ultimate. Not to mention its dietetic virtues: lactose less allergenic than that of cow’s milk, rich in omega 3 and 6 and vitamin C.
The annual production of camel milk at the regional level was estimated at 5,000 tonnes in 2008. Under the Maroc Vert plan, the objective is to reach 10,000 tonnes by 2020, plus 17 tonnes of cheese.
In cosmetics too
The camel is also making foray into the field of cosmetics with camel milk soap from the company Al Janoub de Laayoun or cream based on camel fat to relieve joint pain.

Intensive or extensive breeding?
One of the last events of the Fair was the screening of the Arte documentary “Les Superdromadaires du Désert”. This documentary, which presents modern aspects of breeding,
surprised the breeders present who practice extensive traditional breeding. The question on the legitimacy of raising the dromedary in intensive or semi-intensive breeding with the addition of fodder was raised. As is the use of the milking machine for camels as is done in the Middle East. The future will tell …