€50m EU-funded project launched for rural development, SMEs uplift in Sindh, Balochistan
EU envoy Androulla Kaminara addressing a virtual event for €50 million EU-funded Growth for Rural Advancement & Sustainable Progress (GRASP) programme

ISLAMABAD, Oct 21 (APP): A 50 million euro project was launched Wednesday to focus on strengthening Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and small agribusinesses in Sindh and Balochistan.

Launched virtually, the Growth for Rural Advancement & Sustainable Progress (GRASP) programme would be funded by the European Union, said Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara on Twitter.

GRASP is designed to reduce poverty in Pakistan by strengthening SMEs and small-scale agribusinesses in Balochistan and Sindh.

The project would help SMEs in the sectors of horticulture and livestock to become more competitive, inclusive, and climate resilient by making improvements at all levels of the value chain.

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According to the project brief, the GRASP action in general ranges from market to farmer.

It focuses on what markets, buyers and consumers want, then equips the SMEs trading with them with the skills, technology and services needed to meet that demand.

By ensuring that SMEs are well equipped to increase their overall productivity, a sustainable and inclusive contribution to driving Pakistan’s economic growth will be made.

The programme focuses on development of targeted SMEs clusters, by fostering value addition along the whole supply chain.

The GRASP programme will contribute to the creation of a productive business environment and facilitate the establishment and development of profitable SMEs around selected value chains.

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It will lead to an improvement in business environment, selected agriculture value chains, productivity, climate resilience and agribusiness services and create job opportunities. Gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting priority of the GRASP project.