The United States and Pakistan Discuss the Role of Agriculture in Economic Development

U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson and President Mamnoon Hussain opened the Pakistan Strategy Support Agricultural Policy Conference that brought together 300 policymakers from the Government of Pakistan and renowned international and local experts for two days to discuss key policy issues in the agricultural sector. The conference is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Pakistan Strategy Support Program and organized by USAID’s partner, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

“The United States is collaborating with counterparts throughout Pakistan to transfer expertise and technology to increase economic opportunities for farmers and their families,” said Ambassador Olson. “We must take account of the policy needs for the country and how emerging global issues such as climate change are impacting farmers and communities so we can prepare coping mechanisms for the future,” he added.

The conference will examine several key issues in the agricultural sector. Policymakers and experts will review the role of agriculture in economic development of Pakistan and steps necessary for increased agricultural productivity. Participants will also discuss the progress of agricultural policymaking in the context of the 18th Amendment, which devolved power to provincial governments.

Supporting economic growth and agricultural development is a top priority for the U.S. Mission in Pakistan and USAID agriculture projects help increase employment and incomes. To boost Pakistan’s agricultural productivity, USAID has introduced advanced farming technologies, services, and practices; built additional irrigation infrastructure; and introduced improved water management practices. USAID also assists agribusinesses in Pakistan to form new partnerships and increase their access to financing and more lucrative markets. These programs will augment the expansion of new private sector agriculture investments in Pakistan. Over the past five years, USAID projects have increased exports by $52 million, increased sales by $127 million, and leveraged $11 million in new investments.

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