The Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH), is an international partnership among the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, and Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. WE4F supports the most promising and innovative companies and organizations working to produce more food with less water and more efficient energy resources. Meet Hajjar Foods SAL (Go Baladi), one of the selected Lebanese innovators and QOOT Cluster member.
Goat dairy production has a long history in the Middle East and North Africa.. Until recently cow milk has dominated the dairy market in Lebanon, but now goat dairy has grown steadily over the past five years.
As the dairy sector has changed, so has the financial situation in Lebanon. Since October 2019, the national currency in Lebanon has lost 80% of its value, and by July 2020, the average price of food products increased by 141% when compared to July 2019.
With over 90% of the feed for cows being imported, many farmers started to leave the sector because they could not cope with the prices and sold the cows for meat. However, this behavior is less seen among goat shepherds who rely mainly on pasture grazing in the Lebanese mountains to feed their herds.
Hajjar Foods SAL (Go Baladi)’s innovation focuses on offering goat dairy as an alternative to cow dairy and on maintaining and growing the productive capacity of milking goat farms. Go Baladi connects the supply chain by selling goat milk from shepherds and family farms located in the Lebanese mountains to consumers. By working with these goat dairy suppliers, Go Baladi improves their livelihoods, increases their resilience, and helps build a sustainable ecosystem.
Learn more about Hajjar Foods SAL (Go Baladi): http://www.gobaladi.com/