A significant 73% of dairy farmers in the area feel they are not fairly compensated for their milk. This sentiment is most acute in Al-Hasakeh, where individuals committed to animal husbandry and preserving NES's dairy traditions feel a deep unease. This resentment stems from a mix of reasons, including rising production costs and the unpredictable changes in how much milk is sold fo, putting under the spotlightthe problems that farmers face, in their quest for fair compensation for the hard work they put into their farms.
Over the past three decades, the Middle East has witnessed a troubling trend of desertification, where once-productive lands are turning into arid wastelands due to environmental degradation. While other regions facing post-conflict scenarios or droughts have encountered similar challenges, the unique combination of climate adversities, including desertification, and lingering conflict in NES creates a complex web of obstacles that the dairy sector must navigate.
In NES, milk collectors function as intermediaries between small-scale farmers and larger dairy processors. Given the fragmented and often limited nature of dairy farming in the region, these collectors are crucial in aggregating milk quantities, ensuring consistent quality, and facilitating its transport to processing facilities. As highlighted by iMMAP Inc.'s research, these milk collectors grapple with significant challenges. Unpredictable supplies from farmers, coupled with transport limitations and rising fuel costs, continually threaten the milk's quality and distribution.
Dairy in NES is more than just food—it's a tapestry of cultural heritage. Yet, accessing beloved staples like cottage cheese, animal ghee, and kashkaval is often met with unpredictability and inflated prices.