Islamabad, November 02, 2012 (PPI-OT): Local farmers sold 27,000 animals and earned an estimated 1.4 billion rupees at livestock markets held in four remote districts of Balochistan with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“Previously, we had to travel with all of our livestock to distant places hoping to get a good price for our animals. In the end we would agree to whatever was offered because returning home with animals would cost us even more,” says Shams Uddin, a livestock farmer from Zhob. “Thanks to the United States, we are in a better position to strike better deals as the buyers come to our market.”
The U.S.-funded Balochistan Agriculture Project, implemented by FAO, has been organizing Eid livestock markets in remote areas of Balochistan since 2009. The project involves the local community, the provincial livestock department, and the district administration.
This year Eid markets were held in Zhob, Loralai, Killa Saifullah, and Mastung districts and attracted more than 3,000 farmers who brought an estimated 89,000 animals for sale. The markets also created short-term job opportunities for those who sold tea and food and provided transportation services.
U.S.-supported livestock markets spark economic growth in these far flung border areas of Pakistan as the local communities embrace these events and invest their own funds to make these markets a success. For example, this year the community of Killa Saifullah invested more than 75 percent of the cost of their market setup.
USAID’s Balochistan Agriculture Project improves productivity and incomes of small farmers in eight districts of Balochistan within 100 miles of the Afghan border. This is another example of the U.S. government’s commitment to working with the people of Pakistan toward a brighter future for their country.
For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607