A veterinarian in eastern Afghanistan dreams of expanding services – and becomes an agent of change in the province
6 AUGUST 2013 | LAGHMAN, AFGHANISTAN
Abdul Raqib’s veterinary service covers 320 villages strung across five districts in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Laghman. For Dr Raqib, it is a dream come true. The veterinarian had long wanted to expand veterinary services in the province.
With USAID support, he secured a $150,000 loan that complied with sharia or Islamic law. It enabled him to establish the Laghman Farm Service Center, which is well-stocked with badly needed vaccines and medicines. Dr Raqib supplies these to farmers as a loan to be repaid at harvest time.
Till now, says Dr Raqib, “almost one-fifth of farm animals died from diseases and lack of proper care.”
But the Center has been an agent of change in the region in more ways than one. It requested USAID help to improve productivity and yield in the province and at least 640 herders attended short courses on veterinary care, disease prevention, livestock rearing and milk production.
The training proved invaluable, especially for novice dairy farmers such as Sabz Pari. The widow says she applied much of what she learned to her herd of five cows and 90 sheep and goats. “My animals have become healthier and the cows have started giving more milk,” she reports.
Her success prompted Sabz Pari, who belongs to a Kuchi tribe, to volunteer at the Center. As one of three female volunteers, she offers valuable advice to women on animal care. “It’s a way of thanking Dr Raqib,” she says, “as well as helping Kuchi women.”
Last updated: May 15, 2014