Arbelli, her husband Nazeer and their four daughters live in Thaheem, a village near Mohenjo-daro, Sindh. To make ends meet, the couple tried their luck with farm labor and handicrafts but with little success.
USAID’s Entrepreneurs Dairy Value Chain Project organizes women entrepreneurs in dairy farming, veterinary officers and village milk collection into clusters, training them in production and management practices to improve animal health and milk yields. Female Livestock Extension Workers (FLEWs) and Female Village Milk Collectors (FVMCs) are also trained to support village-based clusters of women dairy farmers in keeping their animals healthy and providing sustainable linkages to better markets and higher margins.
It was during the training of milk producers on “Basics of Dairy Farming” that Arbelli was identified as a prospective FLEW. After After training for 22 days, she started working as a FLEW and was able to help women in her village improve animal health and quantity of milk. However, her ambition led her to consider taking on the additional role of FVMC, but since her village included only 30 small-scale dairy farming households, Arbelli’s bid to expand her milk business was unsuccessful. Encouraged by his wife’s success and eager to help her increase their income, Nazeer helped her in collecting milk from adjacent villages. Seeing their determination, the Project trained and equipped her to become a FVMC.
While Arbelli collects milk from dairy farmers in her village, Nazeer visits adjacent villages to collect milk door to door. He keeps track of livestock issues being faced by farmers and takes his wife around on a leased motorcycle once a week to address their concerns.
With additional monthly income of over Rs. 15,000 the couple is pursuing their dream of providing a better life for their daughters. “It was my dream to educate my girls and it could not have been possible without the timely support of USAID,” Arbelli exclaims with satisfaction.