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Horticulture project in Pakistan helps increase farmer incomes by almost 20%


The CABI-led Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme (PRMP) in Pakistan has helped farmers to control pests and increase their crop incomes by almost 20% over a five-year period. It has also helped farmers reduce their input costs – the costs associated with items like fertilizers and seeds – by 61% and reduce by threefold their use of chemical pesticide sprays.

The story

With financial support from USDA, CABI implemented the Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme (PRMP) in Pakistan to explore the use of ‘beneficial insects’ and ‘natural enemies’ to control pests such as apple codling moth, apple spider mites, fruit flies, giant mealybug and papaya mealybug.

The project aimed to improve the skills of national Sanitary (human and animal health) and Phytosanitary (plant health) authorities, helping them achieve better plant safety compliance for horticultural crops and rice. The project included farmers, local governments, exporters, importers, research centres and universities.

Biological control was central to the interventions – this is a way of tackling pests that entails identifying a natural enemy of the pest in order to control it. This method reduces pest infestations and, because it does not use toxic chemicals, ensures that people have safe and healthy food to eat. In addition, pest-free crops with no heavy pesticide residues help open up new export markets for Pakistan’s agricultural products.

CABI designed and implemented a programme to control the pests. The pre-harvest work focused on existing biological control technologies complemented by field surveys to identify target pests and design techniques to control them.

The project delivered strong results. Farmers saw a total increase of 19% in their crop incomes at the end of the project (2019) compared with the beginning (2014). Farming input costs – the costs associated with items like fertilizers and seeds – also decreased by 61%, and farmers reported a threefold decrease in the use of pesticide sprays. Based on the project’s success, more training is planned for the future.

Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty

Helping small-scale farmers improve their livelihoods by providing knowledge about plant health and access to markets.

Zero Hunger

Developing a sustainable food system that helps smallholders meet the world's growing need for food.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Helping grow more from less land by introducing higher-yielding and environmentally responsible food production techniques.

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Related projects

Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme in Pakistan

Tackling agricultural pests in Pakistan in a safe and sustainable way will save crop losses and benefit Pakistan’s exports. We are strengthening the capacity of Pakistan’s systems to implement biocontrol programmes for agricultural pests that cause huge problems. We will also lessen the impact of post-harvest pests and aflatoxins, and improve the capacity of plant health regulators to certify exports of agricultural commodities.

Start: 01/09/2014 End: 31/08/2019