Estmatullah’s poultry farm supports his family through the COVID 19 pandemic

Esmatullah is a farmer in Kalafgan District of Takhar where he lives with 13 family members including his wife, children and  grandchildren. Poverty in the district forced him to send his two sons to Iran (Islamic Republic of) in the hope that they would find jobs to support the family. This unfortunately did not happen with his family’s financial situation weakening to the extent that Estmatullah lost his wife two years ago as he was unable to pay for her medical treatment.

His life stated improving in 2017 when, under UNODC’s Alternative Development Programme, an Afghanaid[1] Technical Team provided Esmatullah with training in establishing and running a poultry farm and supplying him the necessary materials for the farm. This included 550 broiler chickens, 1,500 kilogrammes chicken feed, 16 feeders, 16 water dispensers and one heater.

Esmatullah takes up the story “Before I got in touch with Afghanaid, I had a lot of problems in my life. As a farmer I was cultivating opium on my land. From one Jerib, I was harvesting around seven to nine kilogrammes of opium. At that time, the price of one kilogramme of opium was AFN 2,000-2,500 (USD 27 – 33)[2] and I was earning AFN 16,000-20,000  each season. With that income it was difficult to fulfill the basic needs of my large household. In contrast, I was able to sell the chickens in the local  market for AFN 130 – 140 per kilogramme, earning AFN 100,000 every 40 days”.

More recently, Esmatullah told AfghanAid staff that “COVID-19 has not had any negative impact on my poultry farm business. In fact I have made more profit during the quarantine period because the import of chicken meat from Pakistan and Iran has been banned and there is a high demand in the local market’’.

With the profit from the poultry farm, Esmatullah has bought a cow and constructed another poultry farm. His neighbours have been inspired by his success and, as the new leader of Chaqul Tabash Community Development Council (CDC), Esmatullah has been able to guide them in commenicing similar activities.


Funding source : Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)/ US Department of State

[1] AfghanAid is the implementing partner for UNODC’s Alternative Development programme in the northern provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar

[2] Conversion Rate of USD 1 to AFN 76