How Ghulam Nabi Got 85 Milky Goats
An overview of one of the examples of the successful implementation of small profit-making projects in the restoration of pistachio forest sector.
By: Akhtar Mohammad Nikzad
Ghulam Nabi Totezada, 52-year old, is a resident of Ferozi village of Moqor district of Badghis province. He is a plucky farmer who provides his family expenses and livelihood by working hard and selling animal products.
Totezada became familiar with the small-profit making projects of the General Directorate of Natural Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) through the provincial agriculture directorate and Pistachio Forestry Association under the “Ferozi Forestry Association”. He has received 60 milky goats.
Small revenue-generating project (profit-making project) is an alternative livelihood program for rural communities which includes the distribution of milky cows, milky goats, and Zarang motorcycle. (Zarang is a three-wheeled bike which used to carry people and in villages mostly used to carry agricultural products to the markets.)
The program has been implemented and practiced over the past two years by the General Directorate of Natural Resources in Badghis and other provinces in exchange for the restoration, preservation, and irrigation of five hectares of pistachio forests for five years.
For this purpose, the General Directorate of Natural Resources distributed 26 milky goats for Ghulam Nabi and six members of his family who are also members of “Ferozi Forestry Association” in 2017 (1396 Solar Year) in exchange for restoration and conservation of 10 hectares of pistachio forests in Moqor district of Badghis province.
The directorate also distributed 34 milky goats for Ghulam Nabi and his family members in 2018 (1397 Solar Year).
Mr. Totezada narrates his success story of small profit-making project as follow, “After we received 24 milky goats, we experimentally began the restoration and conservation of five hectares of pistachio forest in Ferozi village. Since we successfully nurtured, preserved and protected over 3,000 pistachio seedlings in the first year, Badghis Agriculture Directorate gave us 36 more milky goats in 2018 (1397 Solar Year) in exchange for the restoration and preservation of five more hectares of pistachio forests. Luckily we could nurtured and raised 4,000 pistachio seedlings in the area.
Mr. Totezada says that the economic importance of the small profit-making project is very significant for the improvement of the livelihood of rural households, adding that over the past two years he could get 25 kid from the 60 goats. In addition, he acute the daily needs of his family from its dairy products.
He adds, “We run our daily lives by selling of milk, yogurt, quark, yogurt drink, and dried curd (Quroot). One of the benefits of this project is that we can also pay the education expenses of our children by the income we receive from dairy products.”
Now Mr. Totezada and his six brothers, who are responsible for construction of pistachio forests, have learned technical skills of restoration and pistachio forests’ preservation from the technical staff of the General Directorate of Natural Resources.
He says that these skills have been very effective in rain-fed cultivation of pistachio as well as cultivation and preservation of the newly-planted pistachio.
Mr. Totezada is very hopeful about the future of pistachio forests, saying that in the future, a portion of the Ferozi village residents’ income will be of pistachio gardens’ products.
The General Directorate of Natural Resources has implemented small profit-making projects worth 1.6 million AFN in 16 villages of Badghis province over the past two years. As result, 496 milky goats have been distributed for 16 associations; in exchange, 38,200 pistachio seedlings have been revived and preserved.
The directorate has also been able to identify over 500 forestry associations in 22 provinces and restore and preserve over 10,000 hectares of destroyed forests through the worker recruitment program and implementation of 212 small profit-making projects.