Gulpari A Proud Dairy and Rose Entrepreneur

Dara e Noor is a mountainous district in Nangahar with a poor socio-economic outlook for the residents who rely on agriculture and livestock for their income. Gulpari, a widow from Dare-e-Noor, describes how difficult life was in the area :“As a mother of three children, I was washing clothes and carrying drinking water to pay for food and medical treatment of my husband before he died. The money I earned from this was not sufficient to meet our daily expenses so I borrowed money from the money lenders. As I was unable to repay the loan, my eldest son was taken hostage and I was forced to herd the money lenders sheep and goats three days a week. Once the money lender was satisfied that I had worked enough to cover the loan, he returned my son”.

Following this incident, she received support from UNODC to start a business growing tomatoes, onions, beans and. more importantly, cultivating roses. She was provided with training on land preparation, planting, pruning, harvesting and marketing along with rose saplings, bio-fertilizer and tools required for the management of a rose garden. Gulpari earned AFN 40,000 (USD 700) from the first rose harvest and invested the profit in a cow and started selling milk and yogurt to the villagers, generating earning of AFN 10,000/month (USD 150). Gulpari recounts “I never thought that I could have my own cow and farm. My life has been changed. I’m not called “the widowed Gulpari” anymore, but as “the rich Gulpari””.

UNODC implemented the rose production project in a poppy-infested district to strengthen and diversify the licit sources of income for households and to contribute to the self-sustainability of the community.  Since 2014, 379 women have been supported through this project with 95% of them establishing their own farms and businesses serving as a successful model of women’s economic empowerment that can be expanded and replicated elsewhere. 

Funding source: Republic of Japan