Community Livestock and Agricultural Program – Livestock Development among the Kuchi project
|Donor||IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)|
|Contractor||MAIL (Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock)
|Period||February 2014 – December 2022|
|Area||Kabul, Parwan, Logar (original provinces); Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat, Baghlan (new from 2018)|
The CLAP-Kuchi program, funded by IFAD and contracted by MAIL, is organized around three mutually reinforcing components:
- community development,
- livestock and agriculture development, and
- policy support and a young professionals programme.
DCA implements the Livestock development subproject, that is part of the livestock and agriculture development component. DCA started its project activities in February 2014. Originally, the CLAP Kuchi Programme would close on 31 December 2019. However, in May 2018, with the provision of additional financing, the completion and closing date have been extended to 30 June 2022 and 31 December 2022 respectively. At the same time, the successful livestock activities are expanded into four new provinces, Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat and Baghlan, in addition to the original target area of Kabul, Parwan and Logar. Also, DCA will cover routes of Kuchi beneficiaries during the winter in Laghman and Khost provinces, and during the summer season in Paktya, Panjsher and Kapesa provinces.
The Kuchi programme focusses at the Kuchi, Afghanistan’s nomadic pastoralists, forming 8-10% of the total population. They primarily live in the rural areas of the country and migrate seasonally with their herds over vast tracts of the country’s rangelands. Although being a rather small group, they contribute significantly to the livestock sector in Afghanistan. The Kuchi are a vulnerable population, as livestock populations have decreased dramatically due to the ongoing wars and persistent droughts. Part of the Kuchi nomads have settled over the last decades, but still consider themselves as Kuchi.The overall goal of the Kuchi Programme is “to reduce poverty in rural Afghanistan”. More specifically, the project objective is to improve food security of 223,000 poor Kuchi rural households. The goals of the DCA CLAP-Kuchi livestock project are to enhance livelihoods of Kuchi and to strengthen their resilience against predictable livestock hazards. The project targets both migratory pastoralists and settled Kuchi. The CLAP project increases Kuchi food security and income through livestock interventions as well as through development of alternative livelihoods for settled Kuchi.
Main objectives are:
- Improved access to quality veterinary services;
- Balanced year-round feeding of Kuchi small ruminants through extension services;
- Value chain development for improved access to markets and extra value of products;
- Development of alternative livelihoods for Kuchi settlers by establishment of Self-Help groups;
- Organization of grassroots Kuchi Boards.
Main activities of DCA in the CLAP Kuchi project concern improving access to quality veterinary services, provision of extension services and development of fodder banks to improve year-round feeding of small ruminants, and promotion of value chain activities (milk, wool, meat), also among women. Especially the women Self Help Groups engaged in lamb fattening have proven to be very successful. Some of the deliverables reached until now are:
- 103 VFUs in 10 provinces supported by DCA, of which 43 VFUs newly established and 57 reconstructed. All VFUs are accessible by Kuchi;
- 49 Kuchi Basic Veterinary Workers trained and equipped for animal health services also during migration;
- 25 Self Help Groups established, running businesses like lamb fattening, poultry and small shops on village level;
- 1,592 Farmers received local milk processing and hygiene training and kits;
- 1,195 churning machine and 60 cheese machine distributed to livestock owners;
- 3,343 poorest Kuchi farmers trained and received voucher system to link them with VFUs;
- 15 Feed bank established;
- 2,000 metric tons feed distributed.
There will be even more emphasis on improving the income of settled female Kuchi through small income generating schemes as lamb fattening, poultry, milk processing and wool production. A new activity, made possible through the additional funding, concerns a pilot to genetically improve the native sheep breeds. A research farm will be established, accommodating an elite flock of sheep. The improved offspring will be distributed to carefully selected beneficiaries. It is expected that thanks to the additional funding, the number of benefitting households will increase from 20,000 to 50,000.