Background: Balkh is one of the strategic and high populated provinces in the north region of Afghanistan that has 14 districts which occupied 2.5% of the total land area of Afghanistan. Livestock is a dominant sector in the province; however, there is luck of knowledge and information in this regards.
Materials and Methods: Primary data were collected from 44 households. The survey contained the questionnaires on family structure including the number of male, female and children per household and education status as well as the type and number of animals, animal diseases, quantity of milk production, source of income and water availability.
Findings: Average number of the family member was higher in the Aziz Abad (11.2 persons), while Langar Khana had the lower family number (7 persons). Most of the children were educated in Poshti Bagh (85.1%) but only 27.3% of the children were educated in Dihdadi. There was none of the father and mother educated in Dihdadi. The most populated district was Poshti Bagh with 1400 family residence followed by Haji Kot (400) and Aziz Abad (320), respectively. The highest average number of dairy cattle per family and sheep per family belongs to Aziz Abad. Average number of layer chicken per family was 13.2, 7.5 and 2 in Dihdadi, Balkh and Nahri Shahi districts, respectively. Poshti Bagh had the highest milk production rate (9.8 kg/day) as compared to other villages. Foot and mouth diseases in cows, peste des petits ruminants (ovine rinderpest), parasite in sheep, and Newcastle in chicken are the most common diseases of livestock in the province. Source of drinking water in Poshti Bagh was deep well (20%) and river (80%), while people in Aziz Abad and Haji Kot used hand pumps.
Conclusion: In Balkh province, livestock provides great opportunities to the upsurge of income and employment. The most of the dairy production comes from small-scale farms. To support the sustainability of small farms and livelihood in the villages, the supporters (NGOs or government) should focus more on families especially women skills related to livestock sector.
KeywordsLivestock, Family Situation, Dairy Production, Balkh Province
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