WELD Project at Engro Food

Women Empowerment



Beenish Hassan

Beenish Hassan


York University- Schulich School of Business

York University- Schulich School of Business


Charles Cho

Charles Cho

Global Goals

1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 4. Quality Education 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

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Women empowerment leads to success!

Engro Foods aims at providing safe, healthy nutrition for Pakistan by empowering women in dairy development programs for a sustainable food chain. It also aims at creating more value for the shareholders by being profitable and market oriented. It impacted the triple bottom line that is people, planet and profit in a positive way. It meets most of the UN Global Goals. The WELD project fulfills 1st, 2nd, 8th and 17th UN Sustainable Development Goals followed by Engro company who has fulfilled all of the Sustainable Development Goals overall.


This company aims at providing better nutrition to the world and provides a better living for the farmers who provide us with dairy products. Miss Naveen Rizvi, the Head Development to Commonwealth Business Women Network won the Commonwealth award in 2018 for the WELD project (Women Empowerment through Livestock Development) at Engro Foods. Engro Foods presented the case which was in accordance with the UN SDGs. She stated that it is a customer driven company and changes the tastes of the products according to customers' preferences.

The success of this program is in product innovation, women empowerment and inclusion. This company provides a good living for the farmers which boosts their trust in the company. The CSR report aims towards sustainability objectives which is women empowerment, including education, better nutrition and ethical production, and supplying of products along the supply chain. She said that the company is sustainable as they have detected the problems from the root level that are the farmers and have created an impact from the grass root level.

Innovation location: rural areas of the Sindh and Baluchistan provinces

WELD Project:

For the first time in Pakistan a project named WELD (Women Entrepreneurship in Livestock Development) was introduced costing about 216 M. 18000 women in the animal husbandry process and management along with 300 village milk collectors were created. There was a huge amount of donor share including USAID which contributed to the project. This was a great effort in which uneducated women who dreamed big were given an education to start up with their own farm business. It also encouraged women to apply for supervisory positions in the manufacturing unit.


In a country like Pakistan in which 36 percent of the women are considered literate, it was a surprise that there were proper teachers delivering quality lessons to the uneducated women to teach them the basic education and also trained female livestock workers to ethically work and give consulting services to other livestock owners. By proper training 19000 females workers were given an education how to produce relevant and trust worthy dairy products. This training had produced better quality of milk and other dairy products and better living for female farmers. Investing in female farmers showed better farm practices, as well as higher milk and dairy productivity.

The WELD project empowered women to play an important role to contribute towards sustainable production of livestock at the retail level. By educating them, the daily task time significantly decreased in addition to the ethical practices. A comprehensive training program was carried out so that women could improve the yield production along with taking care of the animals. Technical know how in relation to milk production, lab tested standardized milk with almost no chemicals and also introducing biodegradable packaging was improved in the company.

The Engro team went to different villages and were given the task to interview women to learn about their interest. In this way, many women were interested to improve their life conditions and also wanted to play an important role in the community by providing better production of dairy products and they were given education in how to take good care of the animals health, also encouraging pure breeding methods in the upper Sindh and Punjab areas. The training provided a way for house bound women to become competent farmers and consultants.

The mission of this project was to produce quality plant nutrients, and to bring information technology to the farmers to improve their farms and livestock conditions for better meat and milk production. Wireless systems help the farmers to maintain their crops and livestock. Better care, better nutrition and sanitary conditions were provided to the animals and proper doctors were there to take care of them if they were not well.

The most important aspect of this program was that the traditional thinking of women not to make a good livelihood of their own was changed. Their creative skills were enhanced, and they were informed how to reduce the carbon footprints in their surroundings but also to have confidence in them to improve the supply chain of the company. The female entrepreneurs were housewives before or else they provided basic health services and education. Now they were given training in deworming and providing more nutritious feed like fodder seed and urea molasses cake.

Women entrepreneurs were given education and training in advanced nutrition and health practices in livestock management in the Sindh and Punjab areas of Pakistan. They were taught how to use Google, Facebook and net surfing. Many mobile facilities and awareness was delivered in the program. This built up a strong connection throughout the supply chain of the Engro Foods company. Efforts were made to encourage meadow grazing, better management of pasture resources and ethical genetic breeding betterment of animals as well.

Under the dairy value chain through the WELD PROJECT, Miss Nageen Rizvi also added that this was the first time they had good quality of meat and milk product in their food chain. Under this project, they had widely trained about 19000 women in different villages in livestock management. The revenue increased as animal production increased significantly without disturbing the ecosystem. She stated that the underprivileged women living below the poverty line were given a chance to improve their living conditions by this training program. If we look at the social aspect, we can say that male dominated society began giving women rights and facilities to live an equal life as them. The mental health of the women living a poor stressful life improved and their kids developed an interest in studying in schools. The women had been trained to maintain and breed the animals under clean and ethical conditions. The women workers gave the animals the desired medication and vaccinations when required.

She further stated that this projected was highly beneficial and sustainable for the company in the longer run. Miss Nageen was happy to introduce this program under which she had achieved recognition and success through out Pakistan. She had won the Commonwealth Company of the Year Award in Women Empowerment through Livestock Development.

She said that this project has played a significant role in providing gender parity in rural areas.

Women Empowerment


Naveen Rizvi was inspired by the strong women who had the capability to take initiative for themselves. She was inspired by her women professors in IBA Karachi who had served as role models for her. She wanted every women to be independent by motivating themselves to improve their lifestyle by proper planning and making it workable. She said if you can dream it then you can do it. Women should always see their brighter side as in actuality they play a pivotal role in the community building.

Overall impact


1 to 2 liters of yield of milk increased in livestock.

Health and sanitary conditions of animals and the crops improved drastically.

Better network and communication by mobiles, Facebook, and Skype to the Engro manufacturers and suppliers.

Increased value of the milk by more than 2.5 Mn USD.

Income range increased to 10000 to 20000 per month from 3500 to 4000 of a women worker.

Better awareness in veterinary health care and advanced medication were provided in the villages.

Women equality emphasised.

Reduction of carbon footprints and environmental impacts.

Awareness among the supply chain to use biodegradable packaging of food product.

Better livestock management and entrepreneur education given to the uneducated and poor women for their own start up in farming and livestock. 300 women entrepreneurs were created under this program. Well awarded women milk collectors and dairy farmers were produced at a larger scale as well.

75 milk chilling units were created and about 18 to 20000 women were involved in livestock practices.

171M was donated by UN to Engro Foods company for achieving its sustainability goals.

Indirect impact was that now work on climate change is being done to prevent global warming and pollution for more animal livelihood and good breeding of animals.

She concluded that women empowerment played a pivotal role in meeting the sustainable goals of food chain in Engro Foods. They are an important part of our community building and deserve appreciation and respect.

Business benefit

The innovation has created jobs for the women and it has developed a ray of hope to all underprivileged women to attain the goals in their lives.More jobs were given to the people and more revenue was generated in the food chain. More diversified products were made due to increased in productivity. More healthy animals were pure bred which improved the health of livestock. Steps were taken to reduce the carbon foot prints and to conserve the environment. The quality of livestock products had increased which increased the profitability of the company under this project.The importance of education was developed in the villages the products were exported to more globally as well. The company had partners along with USAID ,which made the company into a more well reputed one than before. Steps were successful to reduce poverty and hunger.

Social and environmental benefit

The society mental health and well being was improved to a great extent. Women entrepreneurs became confident in their capabilities and they knew that they could improve the lives of their families by attaining technical education. The food chain was made more integrated by upper management being well connected with the farmers. In this way the risks of sick animals or less supply of dairy milk was eliminated to a great extent. By pure breeding and animal health workers, animal hygiene was improved to a great extent.

The salary of the women were increased from 3000 to 20000 Rs.


Nageen Rizvi, Head of Corporate Communication and Sustainability

Business information

WELD Project at Engro Food

WELD Project at Engro Food

Karachi, punjab and sindh, PK
Business Website: https://www.engrofoods.com
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

This is a project about women empowerment in livestock farming WELD project. It aims at making the food chain sustainable by giving technical education to women farmers. This business was initiated by Naveen Rizvi who aimed at targeting populations in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan.