Islamabad, May 02, 2019 – Representatives from government, academia, and business gathered today to celebrate the successful conclusion of a four-year program focused on improving the agricultural sector. Pakistan-U.S. cooperation helped Pakistani agricultural products gain access to bigger markets and provided support for international marketing and sales efforts. The United States-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) — a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and numerous Pakistani partners in Punjab and Sindh – included initiatives such as providing equipment and technical assistance to farmer’s organizations and agricultural businesses. The program added over 29,000 jobs to the Pakistani economy and led to nearly $84 million dollars in private investment in the agricultural sector.
The goal of the project was to help Pakistani agricultural products gain access to bigger markets and to provide support for international marketing and sales efforts. The project trained more than 1,000 women farmers and entrepreneurs on citrus and livestock production, management, and business-to-business market development skills. Additionally, the first electron-beam technology was introduced in Pakistan, a process that extends the shelf-life of foods and reduces spoilage. New meat cuts and packing technologies were introduced that increased the shelf life of meat products by a factor of three. Support for the citrus sector helped double the production of Grade-A kinnows.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, noted “the work on foot and mouth disease will help open new markets for Pakistani meat processors and livestock farmers.” Additionally, farmers and exporters at the event shared personal testimonials that highlighted the project’s impact.
USAID Acting Mission Director Clay Epperson said, “Our national and regional government partners created a supportive policy environment in which the private sector played a key role. The farmers, producers, exporters were equally instrumental in the success we are celebrating today. Because of your collective efforts, I believe Pakistan will emerge as a major player in the international market.”