In Mauritania, an arid desert nation, more than half of the country’s inhabitants live as nomadic livestock herders, shepherding camels, sheep, goats and cows across the golden sands of the Sahara. Beginning in the 1960s, Mauritania has experienced a number of severe droughts causing the population of the capital city, Nouakchott, to grow from 100,000 inhabitants to one million as life for subsistence livestock herders grew increasingly precarious. In recent decades, more extreme drought across the Sahel – which borders parts of Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger – has led to severe impoverishment and food insecurity among these nomadic communities. Dwindling water has led to the widespread death of cattle, stillbirths of calves, and reduced milk production.
Milk and dairy products are critical to the Mauritanian diet, with a per capita consumption of milk and its derivatives up to six times higher than the average consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Given the country’s heritage as a pastoral country, nearly all of the milk produced locally does not enter the formal market and is either self-consumed or sold as raw milk. Owing to limited dairy processing capacity, Mauritania imports fresh milk equivalent products – powdered, UHT and evaporated milk – which fulfills nearly 80% of the country’s formal demand.
In Mauritania, an arid desert nation, more than half of the country’s inhabitants live as nomadic livestock herders, shepherding camels, sheep, goats, and cows across the sands of the Sahara. Given the country’s heritage as a pastoral country, nearly all of the milk produced locally does not enter the formal market and is either self-consumed or sold as raw milk. In 2016, IFC and GAFSP made a US$9.5 million investment in Tiviski Dairy—the market leader in Mauritania with about 50 percent share in the pasteurized fresh milk segment - to help Tiviski modernize, diversify, and expand its milk production. Implemented over a three-year period, GAFSP’s investment in Tiviski Dairy is expected to deliver strong development impact across the dairy value chain in Mauritania. The joint investment will help meet robust domestic demand for dairy, position Tiviski as the market leader in fresh pasteurized milk, and create export potential for niche camel milk powder products.
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Over 2,000 livestock herders from across the Mauritania Sahara, 15 percent of whom are women, will supply milk to Tiviski through this new investment. The company, which has a milk collection capacity of 42,000 liters per day, has two collection centers in the cities of Rosso and Boghe. The company will generate an additional 200 jobs through the expansion and will ensure food safety through the provision of pasteur-ized milk. Before Tiviski started operation, fresh milk was not marketed at all in Mauritania, save for a few thousand liters sold raw by herders who lived near the cities or to small-scale milk retailers. The project will also promote and preserve the ancient tradition of pastoralism in Mauritania by alleviating rural-to-urban migration and mitigating poverty across the Sahel region.
Mr. Niraj Shah
Head, GAFSP Private Sector Window firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 202 473 3743