Existing government line department services are mainly focused upon providing veterinary service to hardly 11 to 14% livestock of the province. In order to narrow the existing gape in the provision of animal health care services and to cater farmer’s need for improved livestock production technologies there is need to develop community based extension services. Good results with such approach were achieved by Mercy Crop International in Afghanistan and by European Economic Commission (EEC) & Asian Development Bank (ADB) assisted Balochistan livestock department projects in some parts of the province.
Since past decade there has been gradual shift in provision of animal health services towards community manage extension services because of UN agencies and other international donors started involving communities in this task. This concept eventually leads to evolution of professionally trained sustainable service providers.
With the liberalization of animal health services in Balochistan, community livestock extension workers (CLEWS) have become an important alternative animal health delivery channel in the Balochistan’s marginal areas.
Lack of empathy between the extension staff , particularly the urban based veterinary officers and ordinary rural people and a poor understanding by the technically trained extension workers about the real life situation in the rural areas.
Center for Advanced Studies in Vaccinology and Biotechnology (CASVAB) University of Balochistan developed a comprehensive training module and gave training to CLEWS of Balochistan Rural Support Program and IUCN. 40% of trained CLEWS have begun earning their livelihood. On average Rs. 2500 to 3000 per month is being earned by each CLEW working in his village.
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This initiative involves training farmers and community representatives in basic animal health and production techniques. They are taught about deferent small livestock businesses such as home poultry, dairy farming, animal nutrition, basic surgery, milk production management.
Multilinguecy and socio-cultural differences after every 50 to 80 miles, limits the free approach, particularly of urban based supervisors to most rural parts of the province. Therefore it is of paramount importance to select people for extension services with a farming background, from rural areas having real empathy with their fellow farmers
SELECTION OF CLEWS:
The procedures and criteria for selection trainees are crucial to their success and sustainability.
CLEWS are selected by community .The degree of democracy in the process varies according to the cultural and social content .Local socio-political division exist in many rural communities and village hierarchies and are not easily by passed, thus creating problem in fare selection.
Personal characteristic of candidates are the hardest to define and measure but are critical, towards sustained support and respect within a community.
Among other criteria literacy is seen as a prerequisite for learning and drug handling activities, but there are many evidences, however that illiterate trainees can be trained equally effectively.
Gender remains a sensitive issue, since it is apparent that communities tend to have a male bias in the selection of trainees. There is little discussion of why this should be, although many programmes actively discuss the important role of women in raising livestock and their potential as CLEWS candidates