CABI has launched a project to strengthen the value chains of four vegetables in Pakistan – thereby helping to boost the household incomes and livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers and their families.
The project, which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), will not only look to help farmers produce healthy and profitable onion, potato, tomato and chili crops but will also primarily enhance the socioeconomic conditions of rural poor, particularly women in the Punjab and Sindh provinces.
In Pakistan, 84 percent of farmers are smallholders who rely on subsistence farming. CABI in Pakistan has been engaged with farmers since 1957 with a mission to increase crops yield, connecting farmers with the market and securing rural livelihoods by sharing environment friendly and audience centred knowledge.
Dr Babar Bajwa, Regional Director – CABI Central and West Asia, said, ‘It is an established fact that agriculture in Pakistan is dominated by small landholders who are one of the most vulnerable groups in society.
‘Farmers need technical assistance and guidance to efficiently perform agricultural operations on scientific grounds to improve their income and to secure better livelihood opportunities.
‘The primary beneficiaries will be smallholder growers and other actors, such as handlers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and exporters with a special focus on marginalised women and rural youth.’
The project will endeavour to maximize profit through improved crop management practices, better market linkages, rural entrepreneurship for community benefit and sustainable development of small farmer.
Researchers will also develop collaboration, facilitate integration and seek synergies with all relevant stakeholders who are working to unlock the potential of value chains for benefit of smallholder farmers and Pakistan’s development.
Munawar Raza Kazmi, Country Manager ACIAR-Pakistan, said, ‘With a population of more than 200 million, Pakistan needs to develop innovative technologies and solutions in food production and processing that are realistic and more practical for small farmers.
‘ACIAR aims to bridge the gap between researchers and farmers through collaborative projects like the Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program (AVCCR) to remodel vegetable production and strengthen its value chain.’
Find out more details about how CABI works to improve lives through better trade here.