Camel Cheese to Lift Rural Africa

23 - January - 2013

Chr. Hansen initiates a CSR project to explore how camel cheese may make a difference in rural Kenya and Somalia.

Estimates of annual camel milk production are in the order of 935 million liters for Somalia and 320 million liters for Kenya. In Kenya, the estimated market value of camel milk produced per year, if it were all sold, would be in the order of 37.5 million US$ per year. Accordingly, the market value in Somalia would be approx. 130 million US$ per year.

Thousands of camel owners in arid regions of Northern Africa, where two thirds of the world’s camels live, could benefit from products that can help them increase the use-value of their humpback livestock.

Chr. Hansen and the Kenyan company Oleleshwa Enterprises Ltd. have initiated a CSR project aiming to improve the living conditions of small-scale camel owners. The project focuses on the development of basic knowledge about camel cheese production, to enable camel owners in rural Kenya and Somalia to produce camel cheese for both sales and own consumption.

Camel milk is low in fat, high in calcium, a rich source of protein and a potent source for delicious and durable cheese and cheese is a means to preserve the nutritious milk. The “secret ingredient” that will enable the camel owners to effectively turn their camel milk into delicious and shelf stable cheese is a pioneering and patented enzyme solution from Chr. Hansen called FAR-M®. Using FAR-M®, our camel chymosin produced by fermentation, camel owners will be able to produce tasty camel cheese with good curd firmness and superior yield compared to that of cheese made with bovine chymosin”, explains Product Manager Rolando Saltini, manager of the project at Chr. Hansen.

“If successful, this project could potentially improve the livelihood of thousands of rural inhabitants in Northern and Eastern Africa. Moreover, the project will help Chr. Hansen establish more knowledge about industrial production of camel cheese and, possibly, pave the way for future commercialization of FAR-M® in Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” says Henriette Oellgaard, CSR Manager, Chr. Hansen.

The article is reprinted from Chr. Hansen with some editorial changes.