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Livestock-keepers see incomes rise and nutrition improve in Afghanistan

A woman milks her cow in Nangarhar, Afghanistan. ©IFAD/Melissa Preen

Poor rural people in the Afghan provinces of Kabul, Parwan and Logar are feeding their families better and increasing their earnings by taking part in the IFAD-funded Community Livestock and Agriculture Project.

The project supports smallholders and landless people in raising large and small livestock for income and food. It started work in 2012, and so far about 14,000 people have been trained in dairy production and poultry husbandry. Vulnerable groups, including households headed solely by women, landless people, and resettled and nomadic Kuchis, are key target groups.

Participants are offered training, inputs and access to technology, boosting their production and strengthening their resilience to setbacks, including livestock diseases. Women are setting up self-help groups, which enable them to put aside small sums of money. They are also learning processing skills for dairy products and for pickles, jams and other preserves.

Mrs Makai lives in the village of Laghmani with her husband, who is blind. They have a small piece of land and two cows and she now leads a self-help group.

“With the help of the project, my income from the milk cows is getting higher, meeting our daily needs and giving us the chance to save an amount at the end of the month to spend on my children’s education and medicines,” she said.

“Now with the training, as well as certain inputs such as solar driers, packaging and processing equipment, and training, I can process the products in a professional way and thus they are sold for a reasonable price in the market.”

This story is from the IFAD Annual Report 2017. Read the full report and highlights.