The association Pro Milk Mali was founded in Amden (Switzerland) on August 26th, 2007. Prior Stephan Wullschleger travelled the first time to Mali for his PhD thesis at ETH Zurich in 2005. As a side project to his thesis he founded the small-scale dairy DJOM KOSSAM with Aguibou Sall.
Aguibou is agriculture engineer (ingénieur en zootechnicien) and trained at that time local farmers in herding practices for a local NGO. Stephan developed a starter culture for a local sour milk to improve local food safety and quality. Aguibou supported Stephan to collect milk samples. At this occasion they started to discuss about the dairy industry in Mali at 40°C in the shadow. They concluded that it is crucial for local prosperity to develop the local dairy industry. Further they agreed to build a milk-selling kiosk in Bamako and to sell only local milk from Mali and no milk reconstituted from imported milk powder.
Aguibou and Stephan agreed to grow the activities of the small-scale Dairy DJOM KOSSAM after a two-year collaboration based on each other’s trust. Beside more direct investments into DJOM KOSSAM they decided to include farmers, who could not afford to own many cows, into the newly created dairy market. With this the idea of the project “Buy a cow in Mali” was born. The association Pro Milk Mali got found-ed on August 26th, 2007 to realize this project. Der Verein wird durch einen ehrenamtlichen Vorstand geleitet. Im Jahre 2009 wurde der Verein Pro Milch Mali als gemeinnütziger Verein vom Steueramt des Kantons St. Gallen von der Steuerpflicht befreit.
2007 to today: Cows, calves, trainings, medical support and the small-scale dairy DJOM KOSSAM
We realized many projects according to our objectives during the past years. We were overwhelmed with the success of our first project “Buy a cow in Mali”. Unfortu-nately, we had to stop this project after 3 years due to limited human resources. The project “buy a cow in Mali” got integrated into a new project “Help DJOM KOSSAM to build a farm” in 2014.
It is important to us to build local capacities and to support the self-motivation of people participating at our projects. We could train farmer how to grow the right herbs and how to harvest and store them for the dry season in a first educational project. Furthermore we supported the creation of local cooperatives to strengthen the collaboration among farmers in villages.
We are proud that we can connect the health of farmers’ families and the production of milk with a unique project. Until today, we organized medical examination through professional doctors for 600 farmers and supplied drugs for treatment whenever possible.
We focus to increase the value of local milk. Highest demand on fresh milk is in the capital Bamako. Therefore it is important that local fresh milk can sell in Bamako. The small-scale dairy DJOM KOSSAM is connecting rural places of production with customers in the capital. DJOM KOSSAM has 10 employees. DJOM KOSSAM also employees some people without education and provides them the opportunities to support their families with a regular salary. We help DJOM KOSSAM to improve its business activities and support it selectively for some investments. We currently support DJOM KOSSAM to build an own farm.