Ice Cream Expands Economic and Gender Opportunities07 January 2013
AFGHANISTAN - Resources provided by an economic development project have offered a female dominated workforce opportunities of greater margins and gender equality through turning their produce into ice cream.
The Balkh Dairy Livestock Union, a group of largely female farmers from a cluster of villages in northern Afghanistan, is benefitting from equipment and technical assistance from the Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives- North, East and West (IDEA-NEW) project.
The programme has allowed rural communities to access the traditional ice cream market and benefit from higher margins in an area better known for poppy production. Expanding into yoghurt and cheeses also play a part in the scheme.
IDEA-NEW hope to expand the opportunities of rural farmers and, particularly in this region, give alternatives to drug trade agriculture.
US AID officials went to see the project in action and noted the gender implications of progressing a sector that is so dependant on women livestock caretakers.
Further marketing progress is to be made according to Bill Mays.
“IDEA-NEW will work with the dairy staff to develop a business plan for the added ice cream line and help determine if any further assistance is needed to ensure this new line works well in the future,” said Mr Mays, regional director of ACDI/VOCA.
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