ISLAMABAD: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Engro Foundation for generation of
investment opportunities as well as the provision of access to modern information technology
(IT) to farmers in Punjab.
"The MoU will be managed through USAID's Punjab Enabling Environment Project, highlights
the US government's commitment to support small farmers in Pakistan," USAID Agriculture
Specialist, Asad Ullah Khan, said.
Engro Foundation also noted, "Our two organisations will work together to connect farmers to
the financial services sector to mobilise investments in small farms and create employment
opportunities in the agriculture sector of Punjab."
Both USAID and the Engro Foundation are expected to support 5,000 farmers through this
partnership by encouraging microfinance banks to grant loans, which will ensure farmers an
access to all the necessary tools and services needed for agricultural inputs and transactions. The
partnership will also collaborate with the IT sector to help disseminate agricultural advisory
services to farmers. The advisory services will also provide information on cropping patterns,
weather forecasts, and farming techniques in order to help farmers adopt practices that increase
yield and productivity.
A representative from Engro Foundation, Aman ul Haque said, "The collective efforts and
common linkages with relevant micro-finance institutions and telecommunication companies
will help us expand this program by bridging the gap between the marginalised rural
communities and service providers. Engro's Farmer Connect Program led by our fertiliser team is
looking to solve all issues related to the farmer ranging from yield improvement, soil fertility and
water conservation. Access to finance and knowledge sharing through a digital platform are also
critical components to enhance the livelihood of the farmer in Pakistan."
USAID's Punjab Enabling Environment Project is a five-year project worth $15 million, which
aims to improve the business environment in the livestock, dairy, and horticulture sectors of
Punjab. Engro Foundation is the social investment arm of Engro that aims to improve livelihoods
in local communities and in Engro's business value chains. Under the Farmer Connect
Programme, Engro Foundation with assistance from Engro Fertilizers also aims to improve the
livelihoods of the farmers by developing productivity and ensuring best agricultural practices for
Short Link: http://technologytimes.pk/post.php?id=10455