LAHORE - The Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP) of USAID launched the initiative ‘WE inSPIRE’ (Women Empowerment in South Punjab through Investment in Rural Economy) at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) on Tuesday.

The initiative will empower women involved in the livestock sector of South Punjab by creating linkages between public and private sector stakeholders. Through WE inSPIRE, women involved in dairy and livestock businesses will receive financial support from NRSP Microfinance Bank as well as technical support from the livestock breeders associations to acquire and rear high-yielding livestock breeds.

The partners in this initiative include the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bahawalpur (WCCIB), the NRSP Microfinance Bank, three Livestock Breeders Associations, UVAS, Telenor Pakistan, and the Livestock and Dairy Development Department (L&DDD), Government of Punjab.

USAID Provincial Director Alyson McFarland, UVAS Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, NRSP Microfinance Bank president Zahoor Hussain Khan, and representatives from different livestock breeders associations attended the launch ceremony.

“This initiative will help build the capacity of female livestock farmers to enhance the meat and milk production potential of indigenous livestock breeds,” PEEP chief Muhammad Junaid said while speaking at the ceremony.

By linking them with micro-finance banks, livestock breeders associations, and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bahawalpur (WCCIB), USAID’s PEEP will create market linkages that ensure the sustainability of efforts.

On the same occasion, USAID signed a multi-partite MOU agreement with the WE-INSPIRE partners. USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project is a five-year, $15 million project to improve the business environment in the livestock, dairy, and agriculture sectors of Punjab.