Encouraging women entrepreneurship to improve economic and social health – Engro Foundation takes a radical approach

Karachi, May 16: Engro Foundation, the CSR arm of Engro Corporation, along with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), has successfully concluded its Women Empowerment through Livestock Development (WELD) project.

WELD is a dairy value chain program, aiming to provide women an opportunity to capitalize on their participation in the dairy value chain, inclusive of creating entrepreneurial opportunities for women and communities by providing rural women associated with livestock management training for better management of livestock. The project trained women from Northern Sind and Southern Punjab in better livestock management practices including livestock feeding and nurturing along with training to deliver door-to-door services to livestock owners in terms of techniques to better manage their animals and eventually become Female Livestock Extension Workers (FLEWs) and Female Village Milk Collectors (FVMCs).

The project covered 600 potential villages in Naushero feroze, Khairpur Mirs’, Sukkur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Larkana and Dadu Districts of Sindh and Layyah and Muzaffer Garrh of South Punjab. The project team trained 643 entrepreneurs which includes Female Livestock Extension Workers and Female Village Milk Collectors as well as 18682 Milk Producers from July 2011 to June 2014.

Speaking at the occasion, Ali Ansari – President & CEO Engro Corp said, “Engro is working towards livelihood elevation since inception. This partnership with USAID has enabled us to do a lot more for the community and especially for women empowerment and overall betterment in livestock management. By augmenting capacity and building new institutions in the grassroots to ensure sustainable production, the project has increase household income by 50% for 15,000 dairy farmers, predominantly women, across the region”.

Stephen Waskin, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Entrepreneurs said while expressing his appreciation for the project during the ceremony said, “It’s our pleasure to see this intervention, which ultimately has created an impact in bringing about positive economic change in the region, especially for women dairy farmers and micro-entrepreneurs”.