The Laos Buffalo Dairy Farm is the very first social enterprise in Laos producing cheese, ice cream, cakes, yoghurt and milk shakes made out of buffalo milk! The project provides stable income and a sustainable future for the Lao people involved.
The Dairy Farm rents local famers’ buffalos, milks them daily for a period of approximately 6 months at a time, then they return the buffalos to the village until they are ready to calve again and the process will start anew. During this time, they will care for, feed, and vaccinate all the buffalo and their calves. The villagers will retain ownership of their animals, and when they get their buffalos back, they are healthy and well fed.
The milk is used to produce tasty dairy products, which are sold to visitors and locals, as well as to restaurants and hotels in Luang Prabang. The farm also manages a cross breeding program between the Lao buffalo and the Indian Murrah Buffalo which will improve the milk yield in future generations, ensure better calf survival rates and help the farmers make a higher profit from their larger and more productive buffalo. They provide internships and job opportunities in the production facility for local women to acquire necessary skills and work experience which will give them better access to the tourism job market.
Moreover, they offer free English classes and responsible farming workshops for all employees and surrounding farming communities. They also run an initiative to turn waste products into Bio-Gas and train local farmers on how to implement this in their own homes. Buffalo milk is extremely nutritional. It is richer in calcium and protein than cow’s milk, and has less cholesterol and sodium. Buffalo milk is great for healthy bones, dental health and cardiovascular health. It is also a good source of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Traditional Italian Mozzarella and Borelli cheeses and traditional South Asian paneer, khoa and ghee are all made from buffalo milk. An interactive mini-farm, training center and café is available for tourists visiting the farm and visitors can of course taste their delicious products.
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