By Faqir Bashir Ahmed

In order to combat drought and malnutrition, the Government of Sindh has launched a pilot project by the name of Thar Fodder Distribution (TFD) project. The project aims to deliver a fodder package at the doorstop of eligible livestock owners.

The project will be jointly executed by Livestock and Fisheries Department (LSFD) of Government of Sindh and Thar Foundation in four union councils of district Tharparkar and will target approximately 20,000 herd-owned households.

The signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two departments states that the project will be extendable to other areas of the district at a later stage. The MoU was signed by Kazi Aijaz Mahesar, Secretary LSFD and Naseer Memon, General Manager Thar Foundation in a ceremony held at Thar Coal Block II.

The livestock population in Thar is about 7.5 million in district of Tharparkar and the non-affording livestock owners usually migrate from Thar to barrage areas to feed their herd due to non-availability of the fodder.

According to the agreement, Thar foundation shall conduct an empirical survey using an android application to determine the eligible households on an agreed criterion before executing and implementing the project.

The final lists including the recipients of the fodder will be updated on the websites along with the social media handles of the project as well.  The same lists shall also be displayed in the village so that the whole community may know who is receiving the fodder.

In order to involve the management and administrative units, a District Thar Joint Management Committee will also be formed headed by Commissioner Mirpurkhas Division to overlook the execution of the project. Whereas, the civil district administration, livestock department of Tharparkar and Thar Foundation shall be made part of the committee and stakeholders to receive updates on the execution.

A complaint management system will also be established to to address grievances. In addition, the civil society organizations and the members of the media groups will be allowed to monitor the progress and process of the project.

Speaking during the ceremony, Secretary LFSD Aijaz Mahesar said that the Project is being executed on a pilot basis. Adding further, he said “Livestock is the primary income earning source for the people of Tharparkar and the government of Sindh has aimed at supporting livestock owner households through TFD.”

Naseer Memon of Thar Foundation was of the view that forecasting the outmigration from Thar due to unavailability of fodder will also help in identifying the households.

“Thar Foundation will ensure a fair, free and transparent system of equitable fodder distribution” Naseer concluded.

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