This program allows Mercy Corps to improve the livelihood of dairy farmers in the Dragas/ Dragash municipality through the establishment of Milk Collection Centres (MCCs). The overall goal of this eighteen-month Swiss Development Corporation funded program, is to provide a stable income base and employment opportunities for 881 Gorani farm families, living in the villages of Restelica and Krusevo/Krusheva in the Dragas/ Dragash municipality.
This project in the short-term will create two MCCs, thus providing a system for the dairy farmers to be able to sell their surplus milk.
The two villages have a population of 4,250 and have a total cattle population of 2,150. The two MCCs will ensure that the farmers will be able to collect and sell their surplus milk.
Simultaneously, the project will create an association of dairy farmers in the region. This association will provide many benefits to the farmers and its members. It will manage and run the MCCs, provide a structure for the training program to function within, and ensure maximum dissemination of the information. The association will also have legal ownership of the equipment installed in each MCC.
In the long-term, by providing the small dairy farmers with a source of income, the MCCs improve rural livelihoods and create stability amongst the communities, with the hope of reducing the rural urban migration of people, and the dependence on remittances from abroad.