USAID programme helps increase agri exports by $34 million

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ISLAMABAD, Nov. 6 (APP) The U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) agricultural programme, spreading over four
years, has familiarized 27,000 farmers with modern techniques and
helped Pakistan increase its agriculture exports by $34 million.
This was announced at a ceremony held here Friday to showcase
the success of this programme which also created 14,000 jobs in
Pakistan. The programme would end this month, said a statement
of the US embassy.
USAID’s Agribusiness Project worked with both small farmers
and larger producers to increase productivity and quality while
reaching new domestic and international markets.
“The farmers of Pakistan have tremendous potential, and USAID
is committed to supporting farmers in adopting modern best practices
and technologies,” USAID Mission Director John Groarke said at
the ceremony.
Some of the programme’s achievements include a 300-percent
increase in income for 800 women who process apricots in
Gilgit-Baltistan, an improvement in the quality of chilies from
Pakistan, and improvements in cuts of meat for the international
export market.
USAID is continuing to support market-led growth in the
horticulture and livestock value chains through a recently
launched U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agriculture Market
Development.
U.S. assistance has reached more than 800,000 rural households
and financed irrigation initiatives for more than 480,000 acres of
farmland in Pakistan.
The United States helps Pakistani agribusinesses access
financing, form partnerships, and tap into more lucrative markets,
with the goal of linking thousands of local producers nationwide
to major commercial firms by the end of 2016.
More than 26,000 new jobs can be attributed to USAID
programming in the last four years. Through USAID efforts, the
incremental sales for Pakistani businesses in the past five
years have increased by more than $144 million, and the revenue
generated by the exports for the targeted commodities, a large
part of which is agricultural produce, has increased by $57
million.