US-Pakistan collaboration empowers female farmers in Pakistan

The United States and Pakistan are continuing to deepen their collaboration in the agricultural sector, a key component of the latter’s economy. On Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, celebrated the achievements of the Pakistan Agricultural Development Project. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the tune of $20.9mn, the project has helped to enhance food security and improve agricultural practices in Pakistan, facilitating the training of over 63,000 farmers in efficient agricultural methods.

A US Embassy press note said: “We introduced new production techniques and improved post-harvest storage and processing. We established model plots with select farmers and private-sector service providers to demonstrate the benefits of these practices. Additionally, we created jobs for 600 women in Khairpur and Sindh by establishing three date-pitting centers. Pakistan Agricultural Development grants enabled farmers to build high-efficiency drip irrigation systems, tomato processing units, cold storage facilities, and banana packing houses.  Through marketing and credit programs, the project strengthened commercial linkages with upstream and downstream businesses.”

The project’s extensive scope included the development of high-efficiency drip irrigation systems, tomato processing units, cold storage facilities, and banana packing houses. Furthermore, it facilitated stronger commercial ties between farmers and businesses through dedicated marketing and credit programs. These accomplishments resonate with the objectives of the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, aiming to elevate agricultural productivity and farmers’ incomes while conscientiously preserving essential soil and water resources.

Complementing these efforts, USDA scientists and Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research have collaboratively engineered biopesticides suited to the local agrarian conditions. This partnership is also nearing the completion of a regulatory framework to foster the marketing of eco-friendly crop protection products and is equipping farmers with advanced tools to optimize fertilizer use.

The legacy of USDA’s commitment to Pakistani agriculture is evident through endowments established over two decades ago, which have been continuously funding vital research and training. The continued exploration of sustainable agricultural practices, efficient resource management, and innovative technologies signifies a commitment to bolstering agricultural productivity, reducing environmental impact, and fortifying climate resilience in Pakistan.

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