The European Union funded Trade Related Technical Assistance II (TRTA II) Programme of Pakistan signed a ‘Memorandum of Cooperation’ (MoC) yesterday with the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) to execute a project aimed at economic growth.
The ASF is a not-for-profit company, which has been awarded a mandate by USAID to implement a 4-year project called ‘The Agribusiness Project’(TAP). The project is designed to address the problems and constraints impeding the development of the agriculture sector, particularly horticulture and livestock sub-sectors of Pakistan, and to stimulate private sector investment in these high value sectors.
The project aims to foster economic growth, create job opportunities and alleviate poverty in the agribusiness sector by providing technical assistance and financial support to stakeholders in the rural as well as urban areas of Pakistan in order to improve agricultural practices, increase productivity, improve product quality and value addition.
Previous interventions made by TRTA II include the development of ‘Codes of Practice’ (CoP) to provide comprehensive guidelines to mango and kinnow farmers, processors, exporters and other stakeholders involved with the aim to increase production, maximize profit, improve quality and reduce losses. TRTA II has identified three national institutions to work in this area with, including University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Citrus Research Institute and Mango Research Station. Other support services provided by TRTA II includes the development of Cluster models providing farmers an environment to meet and network; development of Farmer Field Schools to educate and enhance the skill set of the farming community to help improve productivity; developing a CoP Manual for kinnow and mango farming; development of a guidebook to address Critical Control Points (CCPs) and providing 20 Horticulture equipment kits for kinnow and mango farmers.
To make all these initiatives sustainable, TRTA II has undertaken a number of training sessions including one for future Master Trainers. Business arrangements along the International Supply Chain/Trade Corridor and study tours to European high end markets have also been carried out. These initiatives by TRTA II will go a long way in increasing the export potential of Pakistan, with a trickle-down effect on the farming community.
UNIDO in association with ITC and WIPO is implementing the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme in Pakistan funded by the European Union aimed at enhancing the export performance of the country and its integration into the regional and global economy through improved competitiveness and by meeting compliance requirements of international standards.
ASF will now expand the above activities in various parts of the country and carry on the work laid down by TRTA II. The MOC was signed in Islamabad yesterday by Mr. Shad Muhammad, Chief of Party of The Agribusiness Project and Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo, Chief Technical Advisor of TRTA II-UNIDO.