Lahore | March 13, 2014
The United States has showcased its long-standing support for Pakistan’s agriculture sector with a pavilion at the Dawn Sarsabz Agri Expo. The U.S. pavilion highlights initiatives that are helping modernize the agriculture sector, improve value chains and market access, increase yields and income for farmers, and ensure the sector’s sustainability. The two-day exhibition in Lahore, inaugurated today, is open to the public.
The Expo’s U.S. Pavilion features a number of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) assistance programs that help build Pakistan’s export capacity, especially in the areas of small- and medium-sized agri-businesses and agricultural producers. The U.S. Pavilion also represents trade promotion programs administered by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce.
Supporting economic growth and agriculture sector development are top U.S. priorities in Pakistan. USAID agriculture programs are helping to increase employment and incomes for an estimated 1.1 million rural families, representing approximately 7.5 million Pakistanis, by 2018. USAID programs help boost Pakistan’s agricultural productivity by introducing advanced farming technologies, services, and practices; building additional irrigation infrastructure; and introducing improved water management practices. The United States has provided funding for irrigation systems that serve more than 370,000 acres of farmland in Pakistan; these systems have increased the incomes of more than 800,000 farmers, with the goal of irrigating a total of one million acres by 2016. USAID also helps Pakistan’s agribusinesses access financing, form partnerships, and tap into more lucrative markets. These programs are helping Pakistani farmers to leverage new private sector agriculture investments. They have created 9,000 new jobs and assisted in obtaining more than $60 million in new agriculture product export orders.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with the Government of Pakistan, U.S. land grant universities, and international partners to help increase agricultural productivity in Pakistan; build institutional capacities to better regulate animal and plant health and food safety issues; and strengthen institutional research capabilities and U.S.-Pakistani scientific collaboration.
USDA programs promote the adoption of new agricultural practices and technologies, and foster collaboration in the areas of animal disease control, aquaculture, cotton diseases, crop estimation forecasting, watershed management and irrigation technology, improvement of soil fertility, and wheat diseases, among others. Through USDA, the United States is also working with Pakistan to vaccinate more than 500,000 cattle, buffalo, and yaks; implement livestock disease surveillance systems; and develop a strain of cotton resistant to the curl leaf virus, which could devastate crops in Pakistan and globally if not addressed.
For more information about USAID’s programs in Pakistan, please visit:http://www.usaid.gov/pakistan