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Sahjeevan & Käse Cheese hosts ‘A Taste of Pastoral India'
Saturday, 02 April, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Sahjeevan (Centre for Pastoralism), in association with Access Livelihoods and Käse Cheese hosted ‘A Taste of Pastoral India: Crafting Artisanal Cheese’ at Novotel Hotel, Ahmedabad.

The livestock sector contributes 4% to India’s GDP and employs 8% of the labour force. This includes both pastoral and non-pastoral populations. Therefore, neither data on animal numbers nor on economic contribution is segregated with reference to pastoralism.

A day's session with industry experts to engage in curated discussions on the fascinating journey of Pastoralists and Artisanal Cheese explores its potential role in the current trend toward the demand for healthy foods. The event hinges on sharing the exclusive value of various forms of Artisanal Cheese out of the milk from the pastoral production system.

Pastoralism is centred on organised herd movements, contributes to food and water security, supports resilient livelihoods and national economies, and provides environmental services. Milk is central in the livelihood of pastoral households.

Its nutritional, social and economic roles are immense. Pastoralists’ integration into market dynamics is the need of the hour. As pastoralists navigate a changing environment, market innovative engagement is essential for coping with uncertainties and providing livelihoods.

With indigenous milk surpluses, there is a unique opportunity available to enhance pastoral livelihoods via terroir inspired cheese making. From January 2022, Käse Cheese has partnered with CfP to train the pastoral community in cheese making and set up production of goat and sheep cheeses in Saurashtra and camel cheese in Rajasthan.

Dr Manoj Mishra, director (Sahjeevan) and anchor – Livelihoods – CfP, said, “Pastoral communities produce a range of artisanal by-products. Not surprisingly, the bulk of high-value cheese consumed in India, such as feta, is imported and sheep, goat and camel milk cheese remain largely unexplored. Equally, there have been few attempts to market a wide range of local artisanal cheeses such as the Churpi (Kalimpong) and Kalari (Kashmir), besides sweets like mawa (thickly condensed milk) and pedas (made of mawa) produced by Indian pastoralists.”  

With a change in lifestyle and food habits and its impact on health, Namrata Sundaresan, co-founder, Käse Cheese is keen that this initiative gets fair mind share to pave the way for artisanal food trends. She said, “Cheese is influenced by its terroir, how the livestock are raised, where they graze and that is what makes pastoral cheese so unique. The urban consumer for this cheese though is disconnected from the source and this event is to create a platform that carries the message of pastoral cheeses to a wider audience.”
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