Overview & Achievements
There has been a significant increase in the percentage of female-headed households in recent years. These households are less able to improve their situation without social help, and therefore, we initiated a Livelihood Program that was designed to provide immediate assistance to the women in Balakot, District Mansehra. A total of 1,363 households were provided with cows and goats in the first phase (July 2006-December 2008) of the project. The beneficiaries were also provided with training on livestock management. Since the responsibility of rearing livestock in that region was of women, the intervention was aimed to lead a way for them to have access to income and assets which was culturally acceptable. The project also carried out training of 30 Veterinary Extension Workers (VEWs), provided medicines to support VEW activities, introduced and implemented Artificial Insemination (AI) for multiplication purposes.
Shifting from relief to recovery, the 2nd phase of the project was formulated taking into account the lessons learnt from the first phase of the project and the needs of the beneficiaries to further recover from their loss. The second phase (January 2008 to June 2010) of the program was designed to increase milk production through improved breeding programs and by educating the beneficiaries in improved livestock management, including animal nutrition. The care and treatment service needs were continued through an expanded veterinarian extension worker (VEW) component and the opportunities to enhance the economic and social status of women was further strengthened with the introduction of numerous training courses in dairy by-product production (the making of cheese, butter and yoghurt). The project impacted lives of 1,500 female headed households.
Building on the over-all achievement and success of the project, a 3rd phase was implemented with the objective of creating sustainable markets and distribution networks for milk and dairy products and developing an entity for carrying on the dairy activities. The project impacted 1,630 beneficiaries. Through this project, Veterinary Extension Workers (VEWs) rendered veterinary services to the targeted union councils and beyond. Five Dairy Business Groups (DBGs) were established which helped the communities in milk value chain. Apart from the increased supply of milk and dairy products, the project also focused on adopting few marketing tools including banners, television ads and organizing orientation meetings with local customers like hotels, restaurants and confessionary bakers. The project’s third and final phase ended in December 2012 with success and organizational learning.