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The women of Colquencha, a remote town in the Bolivian mountains, have improved their livelihoods through the production of cheese and yoghurt.
Colquencha’s rural economy was traditionally based on agriculture, with potatoes and quinoa as staples, providing food as well as limited source of income. But five years ago, the NGO Practical Action rolled out a project to improve food security. Project staff taught people in the community how to keep dairy cows, and taught local women to run their own dairy plant using simple techniques to process milk into cheese and yoghurt. Over time, the business has grown steadily.
Today, following the trial period directly supported by the Practical Action’s staff, the Association of Milk Producers of Machacamarca, is continuing to run the business, in Colquencha and other nearby municipalities, with ever increasing success.
This photo gallery visits the dairy production centre in Colquencha, and shares the words of the local women who run it.