US, Pakistan working together for climate-smart agricultural practices: Ambassador

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the United States to Pakistan, Donald Blome said on Wednesday that the US and Pakistan were collaboratively striving to provide farmers, ranchers and foresters with innovative revenue streams.

“Joint efforts aim to assist farmers in adopting climate-smart agricultural practices while expanding market options and ensuring fairer prices for their produce,” he said while addressing an event organized to celebrate the Pakistan Agricultural Development project, a 20.9 million dollar US Department of Agriculture-funded initiative with a wide array of impressive accomplishments.

“Together, we provided 63,000 farmers with training on using Good Agriculture Practices. We introduce new production techniques and improved post-harvest storage and processing,” he added.

He said, “We established model plots with select farmers and private sector service providers to demonstrate the benefits of these practices. Jobs have been created for 600 women in Khairpur and Sindh through the establishment of three date-pitting centers,” he added.

Pakistan Agricultural Development grants enabled farmers to build high-efficiency drip irrigation systems, tomato processing unit, cold storage facilities, and banana packing houses. And through marketing and credit programs, the project strengthened commercial linkages with both upstream and downstream businesses.

“These accomplishments align perfectly with the objectives of the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework. Through the “Green Alliance,” our countries are working together to increase agricultural productivity and farmers’ incomes, while also preserving soil and water resources,” he added.

The ambassador said that Agriculture is a cornerstone of Pakistan’s economy, and the United States and Pakistan have and will continue to broaden and deepen cooperation and collaboration across this important sector.

In addition to the Pakistan Agricultural Development program, “we celebrate today, scientists from USDA and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research joined forces to develop biopesticides specifically for Pakistan’s growing conditions.”

The ambassador said, “Together, we are finalizing a regulatory framework to allow the marketing of eco-friendly crop protection products. And we are providing farmers with tools to use fertilizers more efficiently.”

With KP’s Sustainable Development Unit, the US is training women farmers, building irrigation schemes, and partnering with the Food and Agriculture Organization to sustain alternative livelihood opportunities in the Newly Merged Districts of KP.

USDA endowments established more than 20 years ago at five Pakistani institutions continue to fund research and training in agriculture. “We will continue to explore additional opportunities to promote sustainable agricultural practices, improve productivity, and reduce the environmental footprint of the agricultural sector – including effective water management, efficient fertilizer, smart irrigation, methane abatement, and other 21st Century tools, techniques, and technology,” the ambassador said.

These innovations create jobs, lower costs, reduce pollution, and strengthen Pakistan’s climate resilience. “As Americans, we know the critically important role that farmers play in our societies. President Biden likes to say, farmers are the backbone of our country, and it’s not hyperbole — you feed your communities, your country, and the world,” he added.

The US ambassador to Pakistan said, “We know that Pakistan’s broader economic challenges have acute impacts on agriculture. Farmers face continually rising production costs and fluctuating climatic and growing conditions. At the same time, increased food production is essential to meeting the demand as Pakistan’s population continues to grow.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Major Australian players likely to skip Pakistan T20Is to focus on...

Key Australian players might miss the T20I series against Pakistan later this year to prepare for the five-match Test series against India, starting on...