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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Opening Pakistan’s fruit and vegetable produce to global market

Funded by USAID via the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the project has already helped improve papaya production by 22% and led to a 15% increase in the income of papaya farmers in Pakistan’s southeast province of Sindh.

CABI and partners have implemented an online SPS training programme to teach people how to model an agricultural import-export system, while the ‘Go to Market’ tool kit is being used to analyse the performance of food value chains. This ensures the production of high quality fruit and vegetables and increases production per acre, making more food available for trade with global markets.

The CABI team has helped national partners survey crop pests and rear and release natural enemies of pests, like insects, to help control infestations. Called ‘biocontrol agents’, these natural enemies reduce the spread of pests and, because they provide an alternative management tactic to toxic chemicals and pesticides, ensure farmers have safe food to eat and to trade.

So far, the team has established six laboratories for mass rearing natural enemies, developed 14 technologies to tackle pests of concern, and released 40 million biocontrol agents to control the spread of pests like papaya mealybug, fruit flies, apple codling moth and spider mites.

Muhammed Sohail Mazhar, CABI’s project manager in Pakistan, says: “Biocontrol is a sustainable way of tackling pests on a wide scale. In total, we have trained 4,035 farmers and 1,031 technical experts on biocontrol and SPS compliance.”

Future work will include developing links with markets. This will ensure Pakistan’s trading system is streamlined to integrate with international markets, improving opportunities to export produce and increasing the livelihoods of the country’s many smallholder farmers.

Donors

USAID via United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Partners

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC)

Department of Agriculture, Sindh

Department of Agriculture, Balochistan

Department of Agriculture, Gilgit

Baltistan Southern Zone Agricultural Research Centre

All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA)

Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP)