Engro Foods, Engro Foundation and USAID, with facilitation of MEDA Pakistan, partnered in a mission to strengthen the socio-economic fabric of primary milk producing communities in Northern Sindh and Southern Punjab region, through The Women Empowerment Through Livestock Development (WELD) project.
Over 80% of livestock management practices are carried out by rural women, who spend five to six hours daily on these tasks. The WELD project aimed to use targeted intervention via training of women to boost livestock production and widen access to commercial milk marketing. The hope was to develop women entrepreneurs by teaching them livestock management skills thus improving their earning potential.
Under the WELD platform comprehensive training was provided to rural women on commercial milk marketing, livestock management and best practices to improve yield and aid production. Between July 2011 and June 2014, Engro’s teams trained 18,682 milk producers covering about 600 villages in 146 Union Councils. In the same period, the team selected and trained 321 Female Village Milk Collectors and 322 Female Livestock Extension Workers.
The results were remarkable. Two thirds of those who received training claimed their production increased by almost a liter of milk per animal per day! The revenue generated because of increased milk stood in excess of Rs. 266 million in the period measured which was from July 2011 to December, 2013.
While these metrics provide us with a critical measuring of impact they don’t give us a sense of the destinies forever altered by this program. To get a window into a life affected by such change we present here the story of Phapul Khatoon, a determined woman who left the confines of her house to enroll in the same school her daughter was studying in, and eventually got a BA. This is the story of a woman who with the help of Engro’s WELD program was able to start her own livestock farm, make enough money to support her family and now enriches lives of women in other villages by training them to achieve financial security. This is the story of the formidable Phapul Khatoon.