Helping the Afghan people through their livestock
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 36% of the population below the poverty line. Of the 35.5 million Afghans, about 24 million are living in the countryside, being more or less dependent on agriculture and livestock. Most of the rural families keep small ruminants, but also cattle, donkeys and poultry are common. As livestock is a vital element of the daily lives of the Afghans, DCA is helping the Afghan people by boosting the health and production of their livestock. Healthier and more productive animals increase food security and are a source of extra income for families.
Our way of working
DCA believes development work has to start with the people themselves. Therefore, all our projects are based on the needs and demands of the local community. The main problems encountered by the local livestock farmers are:
• rampant livestock diseases,
• lack of knowledge on animal husbandry and nutrition, and
• lack of market opportunities for livestock products.
To find solutions to these problems, DCA:
• develops quality veterinary services all around the country,
• offers the farmers extension on livestock health and production, and
• develops value chains for processing and trading of livestock products.
In addition, DCA is keen on developing strong bonds with the local and national government. For the private veterinary services can only be sustainable, when they are embedded in a well-functioning national animal health system.
What we have reached
Together with other NGOs, DCA developed a nationwide network of 800 Veterinary Field Units (VFUs), of which 600 are supported by DCA. In addition, we implemented extensive extension and outreach programs, to target both male as well as female farmers. For these extension programs we developed special outreach materials, including several standard ‘Herd Health Packages’. Recent impact studies show that the DCA veterinary services reduced mortality of livestock by about 25%.
The knowledge and commitment of DCA is highly appreciated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). Through MAIL, we are involved in the development of the National Livestock Policy and Veterinary Service development.
DCA is one of the leading livestock organisations in Afghanistan, covering almost the entire country. Each year, DCA directly and indirectly reaches over a million beneficiaries.