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Project to train cashmere goat herders in Afghanistan
05
Feb '18
Courtesy: Burberry
Courtesy: Burberry
The Burberry Foundation, Oxfam and PUR Projet have joined hands to initiate a new five-year community programme in Afghanistan under which herders of cashmere goats will receive training and tools to enhance their livelihoods and come out of poverty. The aim is to empower local communities by building a more inclusive and sustainable cashmere industry.

Despite persistent armed conflict and extreme poverty, Afghanistan remains the third largest global producer of cashmere fibre, behind Mongolia and China. The country exports roughly 1000 tonnes of cashmere per year, accounting for 7 per cent of total global production.

The majority of Afghanistan’s population lives in rural areas and fully depends upon agriculture and livestock – including cashmere goats – for their livelihood. As part of the new programme, Oxfam and PUR Projet will work with local herders to develop community-owned cooperatives and provide them with the required knowledge, technical skills, essential services and access to markets to support sustainable farming and economic development.

The programme will also promote gender equality by ensuring women are an integral part of the design and management of cooperatives, and providing women with leadership training.

Leanne Wood, a trustee of the Burberry Foundation and chief people, strategy and corporate affairs officer at Burberry said: “We are very proud to build this programme with Oxfam and PUR Projet in Afghanistan to support and improve the livelihoods of thousands of people across the country. There is enormous potential for the Afghan cashmere industry and we believe our programme will deliver resources that will go some way to making it a profitable and sustainable industry for local communities.”

Sachitra Chitrakar, the interim country director for Oxfam in Afghanistan, stated:” Oxfam is very excited to launch this programme with the support of the Burberry Foundation to expand our work on sustainable livelihoods in Afghanistan. With extreme poverty on the rise, it is important to continue our commitment supporting local communities in the fight against poverty.”

Pierric Jammes, the co-founder and managing director of PUR Projet, stated: “PUR Projet is very excited for the opportunity to work with the Burberry Foundation and Oxfam on this fantastic initiative in Afghanistan. It is through such partnerships that innovative solutions can be found to drive true change and support local communities in their endeavours to bring themselves out of poverty and manage their natural resources sustainably. We strongly believe that this will be a demonstration of the true potential of businesses to engage in positive change and support our global community.”

The community programme in Afghanistan is also in line with Burberry Group’s responsibility agenda to support one million people in the communities that sustain the wider luxury industry over the next five years. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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