KARACHI - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Engro Foods Limited initiated Community Empowerment through Livestock and Credit (CELDAC) programme. An announcement on Thursday said that the project has been designed in order to provide opportunities for self-employment and income generation among the rural women as well as help them in maintaining the health of the livestock. It was pointed out that the livestock sector is critical to Pakistan particularly its rural areas. The livestock provides quality food like milk, meat and eggs for human and organic fertilizer for crop production. Combining the two aspects, the Engro Foods Limited and the UNDP have initiated Community Empowerment through Livestock and Credit (CELDAC) programme. It was also pointed out that almost every household in rural areas has a couple of buffaloes, 2-4 cattle and a few sheep, goats and poultry birds, which is mostly handled by women. However, this does not bring them any substantial income generation or empowerment. All the four provinces in Pakistan have large livestock extension departments. These departments are still essentially veterinary departments providing preventive vaccination against animal epidemics. The project entails training rural women to treat and keep healthy livestock animals in order to provide numerous opportunities of income for households in rural areas of Pakistan. Engro Foods has assigned a large number of staff members to overlook the project from scratch. The CEO of the company is directly responsible for the current project, which is progressing on a daily basis. The lady livestock workers (LLW) have been trained to deal with veterinary problems faced in everyday livestock farming. Inclusive of healthy cattle, the project has also given rural women the confidence and means to ensure a steady income for their families. These lady veterinary graduates were especially contracted by Engro Foods for a four week training session each to be undertaken in conjunction with development of curriculum, to enable lady master trainers to impart primary animal health care and production skills to women livestock farmers in remote areas they belong to. These women are called social mobilizers with regards to the project and they help in identifying women who will be right to be trained as LLWs. They work through proper village protocol, identifying the potential LLW, getting permission from village elders and the ladies' families before recruiting them to the training programme.