September 14, 2018
From the American people: technical assistance for development of chili sector
Umerkot – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Provincial Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Sreen, and Deputy Director, Michael Hryshchyshyn, visited the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) to support USAID’s agricultural investments, explore more efficient water management technologies and provide additional livelihood options to rural families in Sindh.
USAID, through its U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) program, is working with chili farmers across other cropping systems to identify and address inefficiencies through provision of grants and technical assistance to improve competitiveness.
The visit provided the USAID team the opportunity to interact with the chili growers, and processors, as well as witness the USAID sponsored technical trainings being conducted in the field to promote good agricultural practices. Similar trainings are also being conducted in other chili growing areas in Sindh including Kunri and Naukot. The day-long visit included a discussion with progressive chili farmers on issues and concerns pertaining to the sector.
Speaking at the training session, Mr. Smith-Sreen said, “We are proud of the role the United States Government has played to support the development of Pakistan’s agricultural sector. We are confident that with continued technical assistance and engagement with Pakistani trade envoys, we will help expand market access for Pakistani chili exports.”
The Chairman, Chili Growers Association, Mr. Mia Muhammad Saleem, thanked the USAID delegation for their support to the chili sector and its role in helping the chili farmers confront the various challenges faced in the sector.
USAID launched the U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development to improve the ability of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets in the four target product lines; meat, high value and off season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus. This partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment in the target product lines, helps improve the quality and increase the quantity of exportable agricultural produce, and promotes cooperation among farmers, processers, exporters, and buyers of Pakistani agricultural products in international markets resulting in increased incomes and generating employment opportunities for Pakistanis.