Rural Microfinance and Livestock Support Program (RMLSP) is a development project of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) with funds from IFAD.

 The overall objective of the Programme is to provide sustainable access for smallholders and livestock owners – with a focus on women, women-headed households, the in-creditworthy and the Kuchis – to appropriate microfinance services and technical livestock packages and the skills required to engage in new, more productive or more profitable economic, livestock-based enterprises. This objective is pursued through the implementation of two main Programme components:

1.  The Rural Microfinance Component, the objective of which is to increase access by poor rural households, with a focus on women, to a wider range of microfinance products and services adapted to the specific needs in the agriculture and livestock sectors through the pilot-testing of new, innovative microfinance products and services built around agriculture-based business plans; and

2. The Livestock Support Component, the objective of which is to strengthen the livestock production systems of poor rural households, developing their marketing opportunities, and improve local livestock production, productivity and incomes

The Programme has a budget of some USD 26 million and duration of four years (2009-2013). Livestock activities will be implemented in seven provinces (Kunduz, Badakhshan, Balkh, Baghlan, Takhar, Jawzjan, Bamyan and Nangarhar), while the location for the microfinance activities depend on MFIs’ interest and willingness to develop innovative products.

 Implementation of grassroots-level activities are managed by selected Service Providers (e.g. MISFA, FAO and ICARDA), while overall coordination are entrusted to the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) hosted within MAIL.

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