Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 36% of the population below the poverty line. Of the 32.5 million Afghans, about 24 million are living in the countryside, being more or less dependent on agriculture and livestock. Most of the rural families keep small ruminants, but also cattle, donkeys and poultry are common. As livestock is a vital element of the daily lives of the Afghans, DCA is helping the Afghan people by boosting the health and production of their livestock. Healthier and more productive animals increase food security and are a source of extra income for families.
DCA believes development work has to start with the people themselves. Therefore, all their projects are based on the needs and demands of the local community. The main problems encountered by the local livestock farmers are:
• rampant livestock diseases,
• lack of knowledge on animal husbandry and nutrition, and
• lack of market opportunities for livestock products.
To find solutions to these problems, DCA:
• develops quality veterinary services all around the country,
• offers the farmers extension on livestock health and production, and
• develops value chains for processing and trading of livestock products.
In addition, DCA is keen on developing strong bonds with the local and national government. For the private veterinary services can only be sustainable, when they are embedded in a well-functioning national animal health system.
DCA Livestock Programs recognises that the dependence of the Afghan farmers on livestock offers promising opportunities to lift them from poverty. Therefore, it is our mission:
“to reduce poverty and increase food security for the people of Afghanistan by improving the health and production of their livestock.”
DCA-VET envisages a future in which:
- Afghan farmers produce enough livestock products to feed themselves as well as their community and to earn a decent income.
- Women as well as the poorest Afghans are empowered, being able to make a living in the livestock sector.
- The Afghan livestock sector can rely on a sound and sustainable veterinary system with specific roles for both private and public sectors all working together in one national system. DCA-VET is not of course able to realise its mission all by itself. To improve animal health and productivity throughout Afghanistan they are working together with fellow livestock NGOs, the Afghan government and various other stakeholders in Afghanistan. They also owe a debt of gratitude to the numerous donors that funded DCA throughout the years. These donors enabled them to commit theirselves to their mission for more than 25 years.
Where is Dutch Committee for Afghanistan (DCA Livestock Programs)