FAO in Pakistan

Women's contribution to rural development, food production, and poverty eradication

Fifty-year old Habiba Bibi, a grandmother of five has spent her entire life in the remote village of Gharbina in Lower Kurram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She belongs to an area where most locals have little to no education. However, as an enthusiastic learner, Habiba has always wanted to learn new skills which could help her contribute to her household income.

In 2019, Habiba Bibi became one of the 20 women participants of the farmer field school established in her village by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The farmer field school sessions brought together women farmers from Gharbina village each week to provide them basic information and improved skills for poultry husbandry and management, and also included sessions on nutrition, housing, disease control, marketing, breeding/upgrading. 

The weekly farmer field school sessions helped Habiba build skills in poultry feeding, vaccination, and poultry housing, egg grading and marketing. These new skills have helped Habiba run her poultry business smoothly.  

“I raised thirty poultry birds that I received from FAO in my backyard. I have been able to earn up to PKR 3 150 per month from selling eggs. I could not have imagined that I would be running my own business. I am applying the practices that I learnt from the women farmer field school to increase my profits. This has brought financial relief and comfort to my family,” says Habiba Bibi. 

Habiba has set an example for other women in the village on how hard work and determination can help women become self-reliant. She has become an inspiration to many women across the district who are now looking at new ways to contribute to their household income. 

“I am now able to add eggs and meat to our food plates. With adequate protein intake, the health of my grandchildren will improve. Our household income has also risen significantly – we are able to repay our debts. I feel more empowered and have a bigger say in household decisions now that I also contribute to the household income,” says fifty-year-old Habiba Bibi.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is working to restore livelihood opportunities in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while strengthening food and nutrition security and increasing household income.