RPLC Project to Revolutionize Agriculture in Punjab and Balochistan

The RPLC Pakistan project is set to be implemented in the Jhang and Sahiwal districts of Punjab and the Barkhan and Lasbela districts of Balochistan.

The RPLC Pakistan project, backed by both the textile and food industries, is set to be implemented in the Jhang and Sahiwal districts of Punjab and the Barkhan and Lasbela districts of Balochistan. This initiative aims to transform agricultural practices, enhance natural resource conservation, and strengthen community resilience in these regions.

The project is modeled on successful initiatives in India, Brazil, and Tanzania, showcasing a proven approach to sustainable agriculture. Described as an innovative jurisdictional model, RPLC (Regenerative Production Landscapes Collaboration) seeks to promote agricultural ecosystems that conserve and enhance natural resources while building community resilience and enabling responsible sourcing for businesses.

The collaborative effort has three primary goals:

  1. Natural and Regenerative Farming: Encouraging producers to grow agricultural commodities using natural and regenerative farming principles that restore natural resources and reduce emissions from farming systems.
  2. Economic and Community Stability: Helping smallholder farmers and communities achieve improved economic stability, enhanced livelihoods, and greater participation in decision-making processes.
  3. Responsible Sourcing: Allowing businesses to source responsibly while fostering inclusive supply chain relationships.

At the launch event, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General at WWF-Pakistan, highlighted the urgent need to address the long-term challenges posed by unsustainable agricultural practices in Pakistan. He noted that excessive use of water, chemicals, and pesticides has severely impacted crop and soil productivity, exacerbated by climate change. This has increased vulnerabilities for local communities and smallholder farmers.

“To address these challenges, this initiative will enhance collaborative actions and develop innovative strategies to help farmers build climate resilience and improve agricultural yields,” Khan stated.

Anita Chester, Head of the Fashion Programme at Laudes Foundation, expressed confidence in WWF-Pakistan’s leadership in driving the collaborative forward. She emphasized the importance of fostering collaborations with regional players, supporting local farmers and communities to become self-sufficient and financially independent, and promoting better practices that enable responsible sourcing for businesses.

“Today, the RPLC is planned to cover over 1 million hectares globally and benefit over 300,000 farmers. In Pakistan, this will cover over 100,000 hectares and benefit over 50,000 farmers in regions such as Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh. The approach has already made significant strides in many regions including India, Brazil, and Tanzania, demonstrating its scalability,” Chester explained.

In a related development, AGI Denim, a prominent denim manufacturer, recently launched a new regenerative cotton farm initiative. This initiative aims to promote sustainable agriculture and environmental responsibility across cotton farms in Pakistan. The launch of such projects underscores a growing commitment within the textile industry to adopt sustainable practices and support the broader goals of the RPLC initiative.

The RPLC Pakistan project represents a significant step towards transforming agricultural practices in Pakistan. By leveraging the expertise and resources of the textile and food industries, the initiative aims to create a model of sustainable agriculture that can be scaled and replicated across the country. This collaborative approach promises to address key environmental and economic challenges while empowering local communities and ensuring responsible sourcing for businesses.

With the support of industry leaders and the dedication of organizations like WWF-Pakistan and Laudes Foundation, the RPLC initiative is poised to make a substantial impact on the agricultural landscape of Pakistan. As it unfolds, this project will not only benefit farmers and communities but also contribute to global efforts to promote sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.