With a large number of children in Pakistan reportedly facing malnutrition problems, the Imran Khan government has launched a novel initiative under which five million chickens will be distributed among people living in rural parts of the country.
These high laying chickens are vaccinated and will be given away at subsidised rates.
Pakistan Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan officially launched the "Backyard Poultry Initiative" at a research centre in the country's Rawalpindi city.
On this occasion, the minister reiterated Khan's call to deal with the problem of malnutrition among the country's children by providing inexpensive poultry products.
"The initiative will strengthen them physically and economically. For, our government strongly believes empowering our womenfolk would guarantee a bright future", Pakistani daily Daily Times quoted the minister as saying.
The project aims to provide five million pre-vaccinated "high laying chickens" across the country's provinces at subsidised rates.
The chickens will be accessible in the country's rural and remote provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The cost of the initiative has been estimated at Rs. 1,635 million (approximately $10,400)
Whereas the federal and provincial government would bear 30 per cent of the project's costs, the remaining 70 per cent would be borne by the project beneficiaries.
According to the country's National Nutrition Survey 2018-19, 40 per cent of Pakistan's children under age five suffer from various physical and mental health issues due to malnutrition.