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.

andquot;The MoU will be managed through USAIDand#39;s Punjab Enabling Environment Project, highlights

the US governmentand#39;s commitment to support small farmers in Pakistan,andquot; USAID Agriculture

Specialist, Asad Ullah Khan, said.

Engro Foundation also noted, andquot;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.andquot;

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, andquot;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. Engroand#39;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.andquot;

USAIDand#39;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 Engroand#39;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

long-term sustainability.

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