Camel Milk Inhibits Growth of Colon Cancer and other Health Potentials

If the idea of drinking camel milk seems strange to you, how about camel milk as medicine? Scientists have found that a component of camel milk may play a significant role in colon cancer, a disease that is diagnosed in more than 102,000 people per year in the United States alone.



What’s special about camel milk?

Camels may not be plentiful in the United States (there are about 3,000, according to the American Camel Coalition), but in many parts of Africa and the Middle East, they are a common sight. Although they are a mode of transportation, camels also are a source of nutritious milk and, in recent years, that milk has been the subject of research for medicinal purposes.

One such use came to light in a new study in which researchers found that a component of camel milk, called lactoferrin, may stop the growth of colon cancer cells. Lactoferrin has antioxidant properties and also binds with iron, which could prevent DNA damage associated with cancer development.



PER GLASS: 120 calories, 5.8g fat.




Camel’s milk is lower in fat and cholesterol than cow’s milk, but contains five times as much vitamin C. Studies in India show it contains high levels of insulin and is helpful to people with type 2 diabetes. In India, it is used to treat a range of illnesses. Although it contains lactose, it has lower amounts than cow’s milk. As yet unavailable in Britain, but Harrods is said to be interested in stocking it.


Rather watery and salty — an acquired taste.

Most people may not have been too familiar with camel milk. But it turns out this milk has many benefits for the body and have a better nutrient content that is known as a ‘superfood’.
Camel milk has been widely consumed in almost all Arab countries, this milk tastes slightly saltier than other milk and is often produced as cheese.



UN organizations dealing with food (Food and Agriculture Organisation / FAO) said that camel milk is rich in vitamin B note, C and iron content 10 times faster than that of cow’s milk.
In addition to mineral and vitamin contents are high, research has shown that antibodies contained in the alleged camel milk could help fight cancer, HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer’s and hepatitis C.

“Camel milk could be a useful addition to food because it contains calcium and vitamin B and has a saturated fat content less than cow’s milk,” said a spokesman from the British Nutrition Foundation.
Another advantage of camel milk is not contain two powerful allergens that have been found in cow’s milk, and has a component of the immune system that may provide benefits to children who are allergic to milk and other foods.

Potential components of the immune system in camel milk is expected to help fight some diseases. The researchers speculate that the small size of immunoglobulin or antibodies found in camel milk is more easily allow it to target the disease-causing foreign substances (antigens) that damage a person’s immune system.

Dr. Reuven Yagil, an expert on the physiology of Israel who conducted the study for 5 years said that camel milk can be overcome autoimmune disorders that suppress the immune system of a person.
But it still needed further research, because scientific evidence that there has not been enough to prove the effectiveness of camel milk in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.


Until recently, it was a felony to sell camel milk in the U.S. In April 2009, Dr. Hinkle introduced a proposal to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Committee on Interstate Milk Shipments in Orlando, Florida. The proposal was to change the law to allow the “camelids” to be included in the dairy laws governing the sale of milk. Dr. Hinkle gave an impassioned speech before the committee:

“How would you feel if your loved one was afflicted with diabetes and was very ill from the drugs prescribed for the diabetes? (A high amount of individuals react negatively to the diabetic medication.) How would you feel seeing a loved one lose an arm or a leg and eventually their life to diabetes when just a small amount of camel milk could supply all the insulin they might need daily? (There are 52 units of insulin per liter of camel milk.)

“What a joy it would be to see your autistic child act normally with just a little camel milk on a daily basis. The health benefits for diabetes, autism, cancer, and many more illnesses are endless. Please pass this proposal and allow us to begin the long road to getting camel milk here and to finally conducting medically supervised studies here in the U.S.”

The proposal was passed. Dr. Hinkle says that this will now open the door for the testing of camel samples so that it can meet the FDA standards and for camel dairies to be set up here in the U.S.

Investigation into the possible role of camel milk in fighting cancer is new. Among the few previous studies of the anticancer potential of camel milk is a 2012 article appearing in the Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology noting that camel milk triggered a process that inhibited proliferation and survival of both human liver and breast cancer cell lines.

What role might the milk from camels have in the fight against cancer? It is still much too early to tell, but researchers will likely continue their quest to uncover the potential of camel milk in colon cancer as well as other forms of the disease.

Research by Habib  et al. in the Food Chemistry journal examined the functional properties of camel milk  lactoferrin the main iron binding protein of the milk

56% decline in cancer growth

The researchers applied camel milk lactoferrin to HCT-116 colon cancer cells and found high concentrations of between 3mg/ml and 5mg/ml demonstrated a 56% decline of growth after 2 days. Lower concentration below 1mg/ml did not inhibit cell growth.

Camel milk is permitted for human consumption in Europe, but only a select few processors meet the safety requirements to export into the EU.

A study published in 2012 by the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology states that camel milk (but not bovine milk) induced cancer cell death in HepG2 and MCF7 and oxidative stress mediated mechanisms. The scientists believe this could explain the anecdotal evidence for the successful use of camel milk in the treatment of various medical conditions. Another study published by BMC Immunology explored camel whey protein on diabetic mice and demonstrated the benefits of improving the healing and closure of diabetic wounds and restoring the immune response.

The Journal of Allergy and Asthma Proceeding published a study in which children who had allergies to cow’s milk were tested for reactions to camel milk. They discovered that 80 percent of children were not allergic to camel’s milk making it a viable alternative to cow’s milk.

Food Chemistry published an article in which phospholipids of human milk, cow’s milk, mare milk and camel milk were compared. Camel milk had the highest content of phospholipids and can be among the considered types of milk for infants and toddlers who need alternatives or fortifiers and suggested it could be used for functional food for adults as well.


Alzheimer’s Study With Camel Milk

Dr. Hinkle has just completed a six-month study with a small group of Alzheimer’s patients and camel milk. Dr. Hinkle worked with nine patients who were all in early stages of Alzheimer’s and the results “were very promising,” states Dr. Hinkle.

Dr. Hinkle used a specific protocol that she developed in combination with the camel milk. “The results were evident within a few weeks,” states Dr. Hinkle. The following positive results were noted in all the patients:

Sleep patterns improved.
Eating habits improved.
Patients became more vocal and interacted with others more and were able to participate in conversations as well as remember conversations from previous days.
There was less confusion, less repetition, less aggression and less mood swings
within the first month.
Patients were able to complete tasks and remain on target until tasks were completed.
Memory recall improved when patients were asked to remember specific dates or events.
Physical activity improved.

“I am very pleased with the results of the study,” states Dr. Hinkle. “But we need to see what the long-term benefits will be with patients and we also need to work with specialists involving a long-term study with more patients so that we may track those patients for several years. We know from recent research completed that camel milk antibodies are able to cross the brain barrier and therefore we can piggyback specific supplements and medications, etc., with each patient to cross the brain barrier in order to work toward improving the symptoms and to hopefully stop the progression of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Hinkle.

Lyme Disease Patients Experience Benefits of Camel Milk

Dr. Hinkle has been working with Lyme disease patients for the last three years and the results have been impressive for many of the patients. Patients see joint pain decrease, sleep patterns improve, gut issues improve, rashes disappear and the ability to think clearly improves as “brain fog” lifts. Lyme patients are on antibiotics, which destroy much of the good gut flora, and the camel milk helps in keeping it in balance. Camel milk is known for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Dr. Hinkle is studying the effects of the milk on the Lyme spirochetes. She utilizes a specific protocol with the milk to increase the opportunity for more favorable results. Dr. Hinkle’s approach works to weaken the spirochetes so that more positive results are experienced by patients as the milk also provides support to the immune system. The results have been amazing.

Hepatitis Patients See Normal Liver Enzyme Panels on Camel Milk

Dr. Hinkle has been very pleased with the results she is seeing with hepatitis patients on the camel milk. She has witnessed case after case of hepatitis patients whose liver enzymes have been normal for the first time in years while on the milk. One 80-year-old patient’s test results were normal after 40 years of elevated liver enzymes after being on the milk for only two weeks. “The story is the same over and over and I am looking forward to working with more hepatitis patients and their doctors to hopefully give them a brighter future for their health.” Dr. Hinkle cautions that each case is different and that more studies need to be completed with larger groups of individuals. She is seeking funding for a long-term study on the effects of the camel milk in treating hepatitis and expects to see the same positive results she has noted so far. “The antiviral properties in the milk seem to dissipate the inflammation of the liver and the milk also provides many of the nutrients needed for healthy liver function,” states Dr. Hinkle.







Camels’ Milk Miracle for Autistic Patients~A letter from Ram Prasath (India) May 21, 2015

Dear Razir Sir,

Thanks a lot for your kind hearted help, which made me, what seems to be a impossible to achieve considering the place where am living. Getting a camel milk to Southern part of India, Chennai from scorching Rajasthan, is a mighty task. Thanks Raziq sir, for providing me all possible inputs and continuous guidance. Am thanking Christina Adams who is the one first i contacted and, Hanwant singh Rathore and Ilse too for helping me supplying the camel milk, in a neatly packed way, so that milk doesnt get decompose. There are many significant changes in my kid after he starts taking camel milk. Currently he is taking pasteurized milk of 700ml+ daily and following are the improvements which we achieved.1) His unnecessary irritation has gone.

2) His patience to wait for anything has increased considerably.

3) His eye contact improved.

4) His sleeping pattern has been streamlined and now he is having sound sleep daily.

5) His liver inflammatory has gone, resulting in good sleep, gained weight.

6) Now he is understanding small and simple commands.


In between, we went to punjab, India and got chance to get raw camel milk for a period of month time and that made a big difference in his eye contact. Am spreading awareness about benenfits of camel milk across the autistic parents here and giving them the milk from my stock. am helping my colleague’s relation, who is having alzheimer to take camel milk daily, which is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Now he is doing really well and he use to walk with others help, but now he can able to walk on his own. Next time, we are planning to get Raw milk henceforth and to feed everyone, who is having problem, for which camel milk is the solution :) . Am started just with a dot, people like Christina Adams, Abul Raziq Kakar, Hanwant singh Rathore, Ilse, made it as a excellent art altogether. Someway, there should be a relation between us all in some form, which is binding us now and happy to have such contacts, which is contributing something to the needy ones.

Thanks & Regards,


“Time is a good doctor, but not a good beautician”

For further reading please look at the following links.

Extrait de la thèse présentée et soutenue par le docteur KONUSPAYEVA sur l'utilisation médicinale et thérapeutique du lait de chamelle.



Formation Doctorale : Sciences des Aliments École Doctorale : Sciences des Procédés Biologique et Industriels

Présentée et soutenue publiquement Par Mlle Gaukhar KONUSPAYEVA 22 mars 2007

Titre : Variabilité physico-chimique et biochimique du lait des grands camélidés (Camelus bactrianus, Camelus dromedarius et hybrides) au Kazakhstan. 

 Composants du lait de chamelle et propriétés médicinales.

Ces observations, bien qu’empiriques, peuvent être reliées à la composition du lait de chamelle dont on fait l’hypothèse que certains des composants jouent un rôle spécifique tant sur le plan quantitatif que qualitatif.


Trois types de facteurs présents dans le lait de chamelle peuvent être associés à ces propriétés : les facteurs anti-bactériens, l’insuline et la vitamine C. A cela s’ajoutent les propriétés probiotiques des bactéries lactiques présentes dans les produits fermentés. VII.1. - Les facteurs antimicrobiens Parmi les facteurs antimicrobiens, on retiendra essentiellement : la lactoferrine, le lysozyme, la lactoperoxydase et les immunoglobulines. 


Utilisation médicinale et thérapeutique du lait de chamelle Le lait de chamelle est apprécié traditionnellement pour ses propriétés anti-infectieuse, anti-cancéreuse, anti-diabétique et plus généralement comme reconstituant chez les malades convalescents.

Ces propriétés relèvent cependant le plus souvent d’observations empiriques dont les fondements scientifiques mériteraient d’être précisés :


 Propriétés anti-infectieuses

Les vertus médicinales de ces produits sont couramment mises à profit dans le traitement de quelques maladies infectieuses (Djangabilov et al, 2000 ; Chuvakova et al, 2000). En Asie Centrale, l’utilisation du lait de chamelle pour le traitement adjuvant de la tuberculose humaine en sanatorium est ancienne.


 Cancer et maladies auto-immunes : - Le facteur anticancéreux : La lactoferrine

On reconnaît au lait de chamelle des propriétés immunostimulantes ayant un rôle dans le contrôle des processus tumoraux. Au Kazakhstan, il est traditionnellement utilisé comme adjuvant à la chimiothérapie de certains cancers, notamment ceux du tube digestif. Il semble également que des résultats probants soient obtenus dans certaines maladies auto-immunes, telles que le lupus, le pemphigus, la maladie de Crohn et la sclérose en plaques .


Diabète  : Le facteur antidiabétique : l’insuline

Agrawal et al, (2005) ont publié la suite de ces travaux, après des observations pendant 52 semaines chez 24 patients. Un groupe a reçu le traitement habituel, et l’autre 500 mL de lait de chamelle par jour. Ils ont observé une réduction significative de la dose d’insuline nécessaire chez les patients insulinodépendants. 


 Reconstituant :  Les facteurs stimulants : la vitamine C

Le lait de chamelle est couramment utilisé comme reconstituant chez les malades convalescents et dans les états de fatigue. Il a la réputation de renforcer les défenses immunitaires et de stimuler l’activité physique des organismes en état de surmenage. 



On attribue au lait de chamelle des propriétés anti-allergiques,  Restani et al, (1999) ont testé des IgEs d’enfants allergiques au lait de vache contre toutes les protéines du lait de brebis, de chèvre, de bufflesse et de chamelle. Les IgEs ont réagi avec toutes les protéines laitières sauf celles du lait de chamelle. Les anticorps monoclonaux anti protéines laitières bovines ne reconnaissaient pas celles du lait de chamelle, alors qu’ils reconnaissaient toutes les autres. 

Superfood (Camel Milk) can Beat the Challenge of Superbug (Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics) by     

Camel milk is attracting million of people for its health promising aspects. Camel milk can be supper food and a natural pharmacy in the emerging climate change scenario. Human health challenges like viral outbreaks, especially in Africa and Asia can be better addressed with the camel milk.

The microbiologists continuously exploring camel milk for its unique antimicrobial characteristics. They revealed that camel milk’s (CM) antimicrobial attributes are more important than other multi-dimensional benefits especially in scenario as scientists has warned about the future threat of superbug1.  Scientists and health officials have been warning us about antibiotic overuse and drug-resistant “superbugs” for a long time. Antibiotics kill bacteria that cause infection but in the process they can also kill good bacteria (the human body hosts about 100 trillion). This phenomenon is developing towards a complicated two pronged dilemma, i.e. resistance of harmful bacteria to antibiotics and vanishing the good bacteria. The scientists has warned that million of people will be killed by the superbug in the years to come.

Camel milk fortified with natural antibiotics (lactoferrin, lactic acid bacteria and others)2 with symbiotic affect to the good bacteria is a silver lining in the clouds. Such natural food provides needed nourishment to good bacteria and restrict bad bacteria to harm the body. I hope the scientist will conduct some more serious scientific studies to explore the hidden treasure of camel milk to combat the challenge of superbug.


1. Drug Resistance and Superbug.

2.Antimicrobial characteristics of camel milk;




Precious Camel Milk. A Resource Unappreciated Among Policy Makers in Pakistan Dr Abdul Raziq Kakar

The camel has been serving millions of people living in the arid, semi arid and desert areas, i.e. provides food, fiber, transportation and social status to the herders. A few attempts have been done in health, nutrition, physiology and reproduction, camel productivity per se is still relatively untouched. A lesser and even neglected amount of milk is published in the gray records of the country. The camel milk has never been appreciated, valued and estimated properly (Raziq et al, 2008). In recent time, though some importance is given to camel and the milk yield is now tabulated as separate entity, not included in others and small ruminant. (Economic Survey 2009-10).

Camel milk production is stable in almost all seasons, which is very important for the pastoralist, when the milk of other animals is seized in the dry period. Camel intake per kg of milk produced is very less, making it an efficient biological model. It is very appropriate specie on marginal and poor grazing lands. This review of the available information on the ability of camel as milk animal was conducted to know the actual worth and future role of camel as dairy animal.

Milk production:

Camels were originally domesticated for their milk, following the move to use the camel as a beast of burden, especially for armies, there has been a return to its original task. It has been shown that camels can provide 15-20 liters of milk per day for a lactation period of up to 18 months, making it a very good farm animal. Globally camel produces about 2 % of the world total milk and that milk is mostly produced by pastoral people and consumed locally (Raziq et al, 2008).

There is a weak knowledge about the true potential of the camel and very rare references are available in the scientific database especially on various quantitative traits like daily, lactation yields and the factors affecting on it. Nevertheless some new studies in Pakistan, i.e. milk yield, lactation curve and the factors affecting on it are available in recent times. Such studies were conducted on a mountainous camel called Kohi (Raziq et al, 2011). In Pakistan camel population attain one million head with almost 20% of lactating camel produces around 0.6 million ton of milk annually (Raziq et al, 2008). Such a huge amount of milk is not well documented and never channelized.

Pakistani camel has excellent potential as milk animal including, Marecha, which is probably one of the best milk yielder in the world with an average milk yield of 4,179 liters per year (Sial, 1950). On average daily milk yield is from 8 to 10 liters but under intensive management conditions milk yield is from 15 to 20 liters daily. However, some specimens have been reported to yield as high as 40 liters per day (Qureshi, 1986; Raziq, 2010). Such a huge amount of milk will never be expected from an exotic or crossbred cow in low input production systems. When the camels were well fed, there was an average milk yield of 10–15 kg per day (Yasin and Wahid, 1957). In the areas with poor feeding and under desert conditions, the daily average was 4 kg.

According to an on farm study conducted by a team of scientists (Knoess et al, 1986) in Punjab province of Pakistan, the camel produced more milk per kg body weight than Sahiwal cattle, Friesian×Sahiwal cattle and buffaloes. Also in a similar environment, camels produce more milk for a longer period of time than any other species, while their requirement for feed is modest (Wilson, 1998). Jasra and Aujla (1998) reported that the economic benefits of camel products (milk, meat, etc.) are not apparently visible. However, the domestic value is considerable. As high as 22 liters of milk, were daily obtained from a few camels in Balochistan. They reported that the daily milk yields varied from 4 to 12 liters, the lower milk yields attributed to poor feed availability.

Lactation length of the camel depends upon various factors and varies from 9 to 18 months

(Qureshi, 1986). The mainly available food item for the pastoralists is the milk of camel; therefore, they do not dry the animal, which results in the lengthy lactation period, even higher than 18 months. However according to some researchers, the milk yield and lactation length of Pakistani camel averaged 1894.93 liters and 445.58 days (15 months), respectively (Baloch, 2001). Farmers reported a lactation length of 270 to 525 days (9-18 months) with a the total milk yield ranging in between 1,250 to 3,650 liters with an average of 1,800 liters per lactation (Jasra and Aujla, 1998). In recent study lactation length of mountainous Kohi (Fig. 1) camel is reported as 8-9 month (Raziq et al, 2011) with a yield of 2590.5 liters.

The genetic worth of camel to produce milk is admirable. The factors affecting on milk yield are lesser sentimental as in other livestock species. Camels live in harsh and hostile habitats and thrive in areas where green fodder is only seasonally available, and can survive on feeds left by other animals (Knoess, 1977). The efficiency of the camel should be appreciated in terms of its productivity parameter as well as with respect to its superb adaptation to a harsh environment, sustainability of production across seasons, and accessibility to people living on marginal lands.

Epilogue: The camel could not get much desired attention due to many reasons and lack of awareness about its attributes relating to its milk production and its products. Due to prevailing droughts and climate change situation, the camel has gained much attention. The recent studies have shown that the camel is an immense candidate, which can meet the milk requirements of the pastoral people and as well as other population if managed, bred and fed properly. Furthermore in the changing and global warming scenario, under-exploited species like camel will find a better place to thrive and produce even under harsh climatic conditions. A lot of virgin areas of research and development in this specie demand, that proper milk recording, selection and breeding practices are to be taken to exploit its genetic potentials to its maximum. Some planned and integrated efforts are needed in camel concentration areas of Cholistan and Balochistan to undertake research and auxiliary developments on this specie and its allied disciplines. A study on camel breeds like Kharani, Marrecha and Brela are recommended with optimal farm conditions to know the actual worth as milk animal. The

time has reached to know and exploit the true potential of camel and to find the ways to sustain this old industry for the cause of the conservation of important animal genetic resource and transform it in a modern entrepreneur in the near future.


Baloch, M.N. 2001. Documentation and characterization of camel breeds of Pakistan. PhD

dissertation Sindh Agricultural University, Tando Jam. Doctoral Library, HEC, H-9 Islamabad, Pakistan.

Economic Survey. 2009-10. Government of Pakistan, Finance Div. Economic Advisor's Wing, Islamabad.

Jasra, A. W. and K. M. Aujla. 1998. Socio-economic Profile of Camel Herders in South-western Mountainous Areas of Pakistan. The camel newsletter, No 15 pp 14-17.

Knoess, K.H. 1977. The camel as meat and milk animal. World Anim. Rev. FAO Rome, 22:39-42.

Knoess, K.H., A.J. Makhudum, M. Rafiq, and M. Hafeez. 1986. Milk production potential of the dromedary, with special reference to the province of the Punjab, Pakistan. World Anim. Rev. FAO Rome, 57:11-21.

Qureshi, M.H.

1986. The Camel. A paper presented at a Seminar on the Camel. FAO, Kuwait.

Raziq, M. Younas and M.A. Kakar. 2008. Camel-a potential dairy animal in difficult

environments. Pak. J. Agri. Sci., Vol. 45(2).

Raziq, A. 2010. Kharani camel of Chaghai-Kharan desert. Personal communications.

Raziq, M. Younas, M.S. Khan and A. Iqbal, 2011. Milk production potential as affected

by parity and age in the Kohi dromedary camel.Journal of Camel Practice and

Research, vol. 7, No. 2(1-4).

Sial, U.H. 1950. Part-I. Investigation into the production of milk and camels and the uses of which it is being put in the Punjab, including the local practice of management of camels. Part-II. Making of ghee from camel's milk by different methods and determination of its properties. M.Sc. (Agri.) Thesis, University of The Punjab, Lahore.

Yasin, S.A. and A. Wahid. 1957. Pakistan Camels: A preliminary survey. Agri. Pak. 8:289-297.

Peuples du lait De Bernard Faye, avec Pascal Bonnet, Christian Corniaux, Guillaume Duteurtre Ed. Quae 2010

Un voyage autour du lait. À travers déserts, steppes, montagnes, plaines et villes du monde, les images somptueuses de ce livre vous promettent une rencontre avec les peuples du lait. Escales inédites pour découvrir, à travers le temps et les continents, les pérégrinations du lait, de l'homme et de son troupeau.

Le lait, un aliment qui ne laisse personne indifférent. Il tisse dès le début de l’existence, chez tous les mammifères, le lien entre la mère et son petit, mais il nourrit aussi l’homme depuis des millénaires dans de nombreuses cultures. Une relation étonnante avec l’animal où il n’est pas besoin de tuer pour s’alimenter. Aujourd’hui, jamais l’homme n’a bu autant de lait. Les produits laitiers sont au cœur de nos vies, et au centre… de nombreuses polémiques. Ce livre n’est pas fait pour y répondre. Il propose un voyage pour comprendre comment s’est construite notre histoire avec le lait. Il offre au lecteur une rencontre avec les peuples du lait à travers déserts, steppes, montagnes, plaines et villes du monde. Escales inédites pour découvrir, à travers le temps et les continents, les pérégrinations du lait, de l’homme, de son inventivité et de son lien avec son animal, yack, brebis, jument, vache, chamelle, chèvre ou bufflonne.

Lait des villes ou lait des champs, lait de brousse ou lait de steppe, ou encore lait de montagnes, mais aussi lait des riches ou lait des pauvres : c’est à cette traversée parmi les gens du lait, où qu’ils se trouvent, que vous invite ce livre.

Les laits du monde -­ Importance des laits et des produits issus de laits non conventionnelsRencontres internationales « le lait, vecteur de développement » 21-23 mai 2014 - Rennes, France

Christina ADAM                                                                                            Author and journalist Christina Adams is the first U.S. woman to gain permission from the federal government to import camel milk to treat autism. She will speak on camel milk at the Autism One conference in Chicago in May 2012.

Du lait dans le désert… Ou comment valoriser un potentiel hypothétique en réussite industrielle au pays des sables et des dromadaires, une aventure qui est devenue un livre, l’histoire de Nancy Jones-Abeiderrahmane. Quand elle s’est lancée dans la pasteurisation du lait de chamelle dans les années 80, cette ressortissante britannique ne se doutait pas qu’elle deviendrait la femme la plus célèbre de Mauritanie.

Nancy Abeiderrahmane : “Voici la première pierre de l’usine de lait longue conservation. C‘était la première pierre, en 2001.”

Dans sa maison située dans l’un des quartiers cossus de la ville de Nouakchott, Nancy nous a raconté son aventure :

“Je suis arrivée en Mauritanie en début de juillet 1970. Quand j’ai entendu parler de la Mauritanie, j‘étais en dernière année d‘étude d’ingénieur, et mon projet de fin d‘étude, c‘était une usine de lait en Mauritanie. A Nouakchott, il n’y avait que du lait en poudre. On a démarré la production en 1989. Au début, ça n’a pas marché du tout, c‘était une catastrophe…. Traditionnellement, c’est une honte de vendre du lait. Il f fallu cinq ans pratiquement avant de commencer à nous en tirer.

On collectait le lait. Chaque matin et chaque soir, il y a les livraisons. Le petit producteur arrive avec son bidon, on pèse et on lui donne un petit bout de papier, un bon, qui dit “Mr Untel, tel jour, a livré tant de litres”. Et ce qui s’est passé, c’est qu’on a vu arriver des boutiquiers avec ces bons. Effectivement, c’est devenu une monnaie dans la vallée. Toute une économie s’est mise en marche, en particulier sur l’aliment des bétails pendant les saison sèches. Cela a eu un impact exceptionnel par rapport à l’investissement et par rapport à la taille de l’usine. On est arrivé à avoir 
1 000 fournisseurs. Et l’on a calculé qu’il y avait peut-être 3 000 familles qui vivaient de ça dans la vallée. En vendant leur lait, ils ont eu des véhicules et des troupeaux, les enfants sont allés à l‘école. On a eu des cas très exemplaires. C‘était très intéressant. L’Etat m’a faite chevalier de l’Ordre de mérite. Et nous avons reçu aussi ce prix Rollex, qui m’a fait très plaisir, c‘était à une époque ou ça n’allait pas du tout.

“Quand Nancy Abeiderrahmane a lancé l’usine, se souvient cet employé, elle a commencé par une petite unité de production de lait de chamelles pasteurisé. Au début, elle a rencontré beaucoup de difficultés pour convaincre les consommateurs d’acheter le produit. Mais par son obstination et sa ténacité, elle a réussi à les convaincre.”

L’idée de départ était simple : rentabiliser le cheptel mauritanien et doter ce pays d’une filière laitage, facteur de développement. Mais les écueils ne manquaient pas. Poids des traditions, manque de main-d‘œuvre qualifiée, méfiance des Mauritaniens vis-à-vis des industries…

Aujourd’hui, l’entreprise est leader dans sa branche, fait vivre des centaines de petits producteurs, et propose une gamme d’une vingtaine de produits en partenariat avec de grosses firmes internationales…

Consacrée par plusieurs prix, Nancy a même un rond point à son nom dans la capitale.

“Chez moi, c’est ici dit-elle. Etre mauritanien, c’est un état d’esprit, et je crois que je suis devenue vraiment mauritanienne.”

Chaque jour, conclut notre reportern, ces chamelles fournissent l’usine de Nancy en lait frais pour finir dans des paquets pasteurisées prêts à consommer. La réussite d’une femme, et d’un produit plein de promesses.

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