New agriculture project on the cards

USAID to help increase horticulture and livestock productivity.


Express January 04, 2012

LAHORE:


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said that, in collaboration with the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF), it is launching a new five-year project aimed at increasing competitiveness and productivity of horticulture and livestock in Pakistan.


“This project is part of a broader US government commitment to help strengthen Pakistan’s economy,” said Dr Andrew Sisson, Director of USAID office in a press release. “The project will have a positive transformative effect on the agricultural sector and will assist in alleviating poverty through economic development,” he said.

According to USAID, although agriculture constitutes the largest sector in Pakistan’s economy, it accounts for only a small part of the gross domestic product. Even though worldwide, the horticulture and livestock sub-sectors generate the largest share of revenues in the agricultural sector, here in Pakistan, these two sub-sectors have not yet reached their full potential.

The two sectors are burdened by inefficient production and marketing systems, lack of awareness about supply and market chains and are unable to supply the amounts of quality product to satisfy requirements of markets, it said.

Under the project, the livestock and horticulture producers and processors will be provided assistance in improving their productivity and product quality over the next five years. The project will also work for identifying and removing constraints to growth, fuel investment, improve links with domestic and global markets, and create employment opportunities in rural areas.

To achieve these goals, the project will cooperate with Farmer Enterprise Group members, associations, cooperatives, individual and corporate farmers, research and development organisations, extension providers and other companies.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2012.

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