Karachi, August 18, 2011: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is providing support to Engro Foundation, the CSR arm of Engro Corporation, in the Women Empowerment through Livestock Development (WELD) project being undertaken in the rural areas of Sindh and Punjab.

This funding support is provided through a sub-award by the USAID Pakistan Entrepreneurs project. Agnez Luz, Chief of Party, Entrepreneurs and Tahir Jawaid, Vice President of Public Affairs and Human Resources Engro Corporation and Trustee Engro Foundation, signed the sub-agreement on July 01, 2011. This agreement seeks to implement a value chain development project in the dairy subsector that will increase incomes of 15,000 milk producers, predominantly women, by 80% in various districts of northern Sindh and southern Punjab, namely Larkana, Shikarpur, Dadu, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze, Ghotki, Muzaffargarh and Layyah districts. The total estimated amount of this sub-grant for the period will be for a sum of more than 128 million rupees.

Pakistan stands as the fourth largest country in milk production globally. The project will seek to build capacity and strengthen institutions through the provision of product, marketing and income generating services to entrepreneurs. Presently, most of the milk collected reaches consumers with higher cost and inferior quality. The dodhie, middleman does not perform any quality test and does not have set standards of milk collection when collecting the milk from rural areas. This project, over a period of two and a half years from July 1, 2011 – Dec 31, 2013 will aim to build capacity and strengthen institutions so that milk costs can be lowered with milk collected of a higher quality.

The project team will train and develop a cadre of 300 Female Livestock Extension Workers (FLEW) & 300 Female Village Milk Collectors, who will provide services at door steps to livestock owners for better production and commercial milk marketing chnnel respectively. The project will provide a basic support to FLEWs in establishing small business at village base, which will fulfill the livestock requirements for maintaining health and nutritional support.

Engro Foods Limited will impart 60% chiller cost as private investor in this project. And will also facilitate the milk suppliers by offering competitive price and after project services in development of livestock.