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Nowadays,the dairy industry is categorized into two distinct production areas.The primary production of milk is principally on farms,whereby cows and other animals,such as goats,sheep,and among others,are bred for the production of milk for human consumption.The processing of milk has for main objective of extending its saleable life and keeping quality.This can be achieved by a number of food transformation and preservation techniques.Milk can be heat treated,can be prepared variously in a dehydrated form like butter and milk powder,thirdly by freezing,for instance,ice cream and other frozen desserts and finally by fermentation like yoghurt,cheese,ghee,kefir and among others.
1.1.1 Profile of the dairy processing industry in Mauritius
Mauritius has one of the strongest economies in Africa,with a per capita GDP close to U$3,900.Its economy has been heightened greatly over the past 15 years and the main sectors,which have driven the performance,were the textile,tourism and sugar industry.However,studies prepared by the Imani Development Consultants(2004),for the Regional Agricultural Trade Expansion Support Program,have demonstrated that the local dairy is a very small sector with only about 5000 dairy cows,producing about 4 million litres of milk,which represent only 5%of the total requirements.Hence, Mauritius does not have the resources and capacity to produce milk efficiently.About 1 million litres of the milk produced,through reconstitution from powder milk,is marketed as pasteurised milk by the Agricultural Marketing Board and other dairy industries.
Likewise the Imani Development Consultants(2004)added that the consumption trend of most dairy products has considerably increased over the past 5 years from 12,800 tons in 1995 to 22,000 tons in the year 2002.This trend is expected to continue with the rising standard of living of the Mauritian population.There is now a growing market for UHT milk d