On the milk trail – Food provisioning in Dar es Salaam

By Marc Wegerif. PhD Candidate, Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University, carrying out research on food provisioning in Dar es Salaam. Contact: marc.wegerif@wur.nl

It’s Saturday morning in Dar es Salaam, no rushing to school and work today. I walk to the duka (shop) a few metres from my house, (you can read more about the duka in http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/6/6/3747). After greeting the shop owner and another customer standing at the counter, I buy eggs, chapattis cooked that morning by one of my neighbours and fresh milk in a plastic half litre package for 1,100 Tanzanian Shillings (Euro 0.52). Ready for breakfast and I think it is time to write a few lines about where the milk I just bought comes from.

Man and Women after delivering milk to the collection centre in Pongwe Village

Man and Women after delivering milk to the collection centre in Pongwe Village

On a morning a few weeks earlier I was standing in Pongwe Village, Tanga Region, watching as buckets and other containers of milk were lined up at the Tanga Fresh milk collection centre. Most of the containers were brought by young men on bicycles and motorbikes, women of all ages came on foot buckets on their head or in their hands and some older men were there as well. Tatu (not her real name), in her twenties, dressed in a clean white coat, hair net and boots – the classic uniform of hygiene – was taking samples from every container to check the quality of the milk and for any impurities. The milk that met the standards (most of it did) was poured into a shiny stainless steel container, weighed, then filtered before being put into one of two large shiny and cooled tanks in the back room of the building. Later in the day a truck would collect the milk and take it to the Tanga Fresh dairy. Continue reading