Pakistan completed a $1.3mn US-backed project empowering women in agriculture

The United States and Pakistan have announced the completion of a $1.3 million project focused on empowering women in agriculture. This initiative, a collaboration between the United States and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, marks a notable achievement in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan.

The “Alternative Livelihood Options” project, exemplifying the partnership between the United States, the KP government, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, is the culmination of five years of dedicated planning and coordination. As U.S. Ambassador Donald Armin Blome noted, the project’s far-reaching impacts are a testament to the extensive effort and financial support exceeding $1.3 million from the United States.

This initiative has significantly enhanced access to alternative crops and advanced agricultural practices in KP. It directly benefitted 3,700 farmers across five districts, with a particular focus on the inclusion of over 600 women. The project facilitated the establishment of fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, and irrigation systems, positively impacting over 25,000 individuals.

Ambassador Blome highlighted the achievements of the farmers and their families, emphasizing the newfound skills and profitable crops that have been a result of this collaboration. He specially commended the 624 women leaders who participated, acknowledging their inspirational role and contribution to a hopeful future.

The United States and Pakistan share a mutual interest in promoting peace and prosperity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with a focus on providing alternative economic opportunities that empower women. Ambassador Blome recognized the crucial role of the KP Departments of Agriculture, Food, Security, and Research in this endeavor. Their partnership has been instrumental in equipping farming communities, particularly those vulnerable to illicit crop production, with necessary training, materials, and equipment.

In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Blome expressed gratitude for the dedication and hard work that led to the success of the Alternative Livelihood Options project. He emphasized that this project serves as a model for future collaborations, aiming to build a safer, stronger, and more secure Pakistan. The celebration of these achievements reflects a commitment to continued cooperation and progress in the region.

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