By: Hamid Safi
Mr. Bostan is a traditional farmer in Yakawalang District of Bamyan Province. He raises sheep for income purposes for over 50 years using traditional techniques, which, according to him was a tough job as majority of his died of preventable diseases. Bostan says, he could hardly protect his sheep against deadly diseases such as Anthrax, Enterotoxaemia, Pneumonia, Sheep Pox etx. the diseases existed largely and it was perceived due to innate cause and assumed beyond his control of farmers. Said farmer would lose over 60% of his livestock each year. After the RMLSP supported Veterinary Field Unites (VFUs) established in the mentioned district, which, provided awareness on disease prevention methods. The evidence suggests there has been a significant change in farmers’ behavior particularly in animal health caring, which result to decrease in mortality and brought considerable economic returns to the rural farmers’.
Meanwhile Mr. Ghulam Sakhi the Para veterinarian who runs the VFU in the aforementioned district says that herders were suffering from a lack of information on the importance and advantages of vaccination, de-worming and other protective measures necessary for a animal health and protection. He said, those who used to deny vaccination and treatment of animals on the basis of cultural and religious believes turned to become continuous visitors of VFU for information and treatment of animals when necessary.
RMLSP provides animal health services such as de-worming, vaccination, technical trainings and guidance on animal feeding and provides access to essential technology that enable herders rise healthy and quality livestock product and by doing so improve their livelihood. This way RMLSP progresses towards its ultimate outcome that is to improve food security and help reduce extreme poverty in the rural areas of Afghanistan.
RMLSP is an IFAD funded program of the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). The program is implemented during 2009-2016 in 10 provinces of Afghanistan. RMLSP operated particularly in the area of animal health services, backyard poultry, integrated dairy scheme, dairy goat development, access to rural micro-finance, targeting ultra poor and awareness programs on health and hygiene. It is worth mentioning that implementation led significant improvement in the living status of the target poor rural households by enabling them to engage in income generating activities for survival. The program also recorded significant lessons learnt, best practices on applicable methods to improve food security and help reduce poverty that encouraged IFAD for donating the Community Livestock and Agriculture Project (CLAP) and Support to National Priority Program 2 (SNaPP2).