This extract shows the interventionist nature of the Nutrition Development Unit's work in Nyasaland. Barker refers to a plan to increase milk production in the country as part of the development of the ghee (clarified butter) industry. The hope was that this ready supply of milk would coincide with a change in local attitudes towards it.
This annotation to the text – presumably by Mrs Culwick, who worked alongside Barker in the Unit, and edited her text – highlights the danger of 'dirty' milk and suggests that the people may well be justified in their tendency to avoid it. However, her use of the phrase 'backwards' to describe the hygiene of the Nyasaland people shows once again the way the assumed superiority of the colonial researchers informed the way they interpreted local practices and beliefs.