FAO in Pakistan

Better Life, One Egg at a Time

Under the Support for the Recovery of Agriculture Based Livelihoods of Vulnerable Farmers Affected by 2012 Floods of Sindh and Balochistan Provinces in Pakistan Project, FAO helps a family increase their food security and income

Hayata Ali Dost smiles happily watching as her youngest son tries chasing the chicken. “Now my children can have a more nutritious breakfast,” says the 50 year old mother of ten.  Hayata received 12 chicken from the DFID-funded FAO Support for the recovery of agriculture based livelihoods of vulnerable farmers affected by 2012 floods of Sindh and Balochistan Provinces in Pakistan Project to help the family recover from the 2012 floods.

Hayata and her husband Ali live in a household of 25 people in the village of Shah Dost Surhyani in Kahmore District of Sindh Province. In addition to the couple and their ten children, the household includes two of Ali's brothers and their families, his widow sister with her children, and their 80-year old mother.  The family grows crops and vegetables on a two-acre plot of land and keeps one buffalo for milk. Additionally, Ali's brother has a goat, which they use to produce milk. "We had chicken before, but they perished during the floods, and we could not afford to buy new ones," says Hayata.
Hayata is among 1,250 women who received poultry from the project. In addition to providing the birds, FAO taught Hayata how to feed and care of the chicken to maximize the production of eggs. Now the chickens lay 6-8 eggs each day. The family keeps half of the eggs for food and sells the remaining half to the neighbors. Each egg earns 10 Rupees (US$0.1) for the family. Hayata feeds the chicken with leftovers from the family's meals and lets the chicken walk in the fields where they eat grass and grains of crops that had fallen on the ground.

"We are very poor and could not afford to send our children to school," says Ali. "With the income from eggs, we have been able to pay school fees for two of our children, so they are now getting education," he adds.

"Before, we could never afford to have eggs for breakfast, and now we eat them every day," says Hayata. She is planning to start hatching the eggs in order to raise more chicken, both for food and for sale.