Cashmere supply chain project Afghanistan
The Cashmere Supply Chain (CSC) project is an initiative by Burberry Foundation, the French NGO Pur project, and Oxfam (in which Oxfam Great Britain, local Oxfam office in Afghanistan and Oxfam Novib collaborate), aiming to strengthen the capacities of cashmere producing families in Herat and Balkh provinces of Afghanistan to reach decent livelihoods from goat keeping and cashmere trade as part of an international supply chain.
In 2018, the partners jointly started implementing this 4-year project with 3 broad areas of intervention: 1. Enhancing technical capacities for cashmere production and trade; 2. Fostering producer organisations and 3. Advocating for a more enabling business environment for the cashmere supply chain in Afghanistan. Funded by Burberry Foundation, the project has entrepreneurial spirit and self-help methodology in its DNA. Oxfam Novib provides advice on the development of producer organisations.
Apart from technical improvements (such as improved cashmere goats, combing and other handling practises) and better service delivery (such as veterinary and feed services), the project strengthens the organisational capacity of goat keepers and herders. The project starts from the principle that people can only organise themselves; and people can only develop themselves. As a result, the project encourages producers to work in organised structures and strengthens their leadership and management capacities.
The cashmere producers in Herat and Balkh have a long way to go before they are effectively organised and reap the collective benefits from it. Early 2020, the project has facilitated the establishment of producer groups at village level which are united at the district level in cashmere and livestock associations. From the outset, the specific aim of the donor and project partners has been to enable producers to form long-term sustainable producer organisations that are independent of external donations or help. The project has consciously promoted the independent, self-help and entrepreneurial character of this cashmere production structure in the provinces. This does not come automatically; particularly in a context with high incidence of disruptions and violence, low levels of social unity and adverse experiences of farmer groups, it takes a deliberate strategy and specific interventions to enable strong producer organisations from village to the district level. This is the technical contribution that Oxfam Novib has provided to this project.
Project name: Cashmere supply chain project - Afghanistan
Project period: 2018-2022
Project implementors: Oxfam Great Britain, PUR Projet and Oxfam in Afghanistan
Target group: cashmere producers in Herat and Balkh, and downstream supply chain partners
Location: Herat and Balkh provinces, Afghanistan
Budget: GBP 2.13 million
Technical advisor from Oxfam Novib to this project is Rogier Verschoor firstname.lastname@example.org
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