ISLAMABAD: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a training session for Pakistani farmers in which new techniques to produce grapes and ways to connect with merchants, processors, and exporters to better prepare their crops were discussed. USAID’s Director of Economic Growth and Agriculture Scott Hocklander noted that grape growing provides a special advantage for farmers in the Potohar region. “Grape farming in this region enjoys a competitive advantage, since Potohar grapes are harvested before the monsoon season when grapes from other parts of the country are not yet available,” he said. USAID has helped cultivate nearly 70% of the 420 acres of grape vineyards in the Potohar region and its Agribusiness Project helps medium and small-scale farmers by providing plants and trellises. In addition, USAID provides training and technical assistance in canopy management, disease and pest management, harvest and post-harvest handling techniques, and marketing.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.
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