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Poultry business alleviates women's financial woesBy Waheedullah Sep 24, 2011 - 13:48
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Work opportunities have been provided for more than 500 poor women with distribution of chickens by the agriculture department of northern Kunduz province, officials said on Saturday. "I run a poultry farm that has spared me the trouble of washing neighbours' clothes," said Bibi Samia, 60, a resident of the Gala Tapa area on the outskirts of Kunduz City, the provincial capital. She told Pajhwok Afghan News her husband was an aged man who did not have the ability to work. In the not-so-distant past, she would sweep houses and wash clothes to eke out a living. Over the past nine months, however, she has been in the poultry business -- albeit a small one. Previously, some people would taunt her for doing others' chores, the woman recalled. She launched the business after the agriculture, irrigation and livestock department donated her 40 chickens, said Samia, the number of whose chicks has now increased by 60 percent. In addition to a fair increase in her income, she earns 200 afghanis ($4.13) daily from selling 30 eggs. Chickens were distributed to more than 400 resourceless women in the Kunduz City, Imam Sahib and Qala-i-Zal districts, Agriculture Director Nazar Mohammad Hazem said. Earlier, the women were trained on poultry farming for a month by the Mercy Corps, a private organisation, promoting agriculture in Afghanistan. The NGO also gave the women free chicken feed and vaccine for a year. UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Officials say 90,000 chickens have been distributed to 6,000 families in Kunduz, Takhar and Baghlan provinces under the World Bank-funded project, costing $1.5m. mrh/myn/mud