New USAID Initiative Brings Technology to Agriculture

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam:  USAID and the Pakistan Ministry of National Food Security and Research launched USAID’s Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity today.

 Partnering with roughly 30 of the largest private agri-technology businesses, the four-year initiative will introduce advanced technologies to an estimated 122,500 farmers, whose agricultural sales are projected to reach $8.58 million.

“This project will help Pakistani farmers realize the full potential of their land and labor,” said USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson.  “Partnership with key private sector players will help connect farmers to each other, new techniques, timely weather data, and the supply chain network – all of which enhances productivity, builds resilience to climate change, and reduces post-harvest losses

The technologies the program will introduce to the horticulture industry include integrated pest management, controlled production, improved plant genetics and post-harvest handling and packaging. The livestock and dairy sectors will benefit from nutrition and breed improvement, including artificial insemination and embryo transplants that will offer rapid improvement in livestock genetics.

Pakistani agriculture department officials and Dr. Yusaf Zafar, Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) also attended the event.

“Our partnership with USAID has lasted decades, but with interventions such as these, the pace of development will increase multifold,” said Dr. Zafar.  “We hope to support these initiatives over the project lifespan and beyond.”

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