Thursday, 5 February 2015

Progress of Sindh agriculture growth project discussed

Senior Advisor to World Bank, Karachi Nazar Mahar and World Bank Consultant Saifullah Khokhar have met Director General Agriculture Extension Sindh, Hidayatullah Chajjro, field staff and senior officers and discussed the progress of Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP). The World Bank team observed that the success of the project depends on the activities of the field staff in a planned way.

They further said that agriculture is robust and inclusive to economic growth and development and alleviate rural poverty in Sindh and Pakistan. According to a World Bank report, national average yields of major crops in Pakistan are only 55% of progressive farmers' yields, the highest achievable yields by farmers.

It maintained that full potential is not being realised due to slow adoption of modern technology and absence of infrastructure and supply chain. The post harvest losses and low market prices and non-availability of information also make all efforts of farmers useless.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh Government under democratic leadership has initiated Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP) to address these issues for economic growth and shared prosperity. The project objective is to improve the productivity and market access of small and medium producers in important commodity value chains. This will be achieved by investing in knowledge and technology for producers, sub-sector of crops and strengthening public sector institutions to enhance the enabling environment for sustained growth.

The project will finance investments in three horticulture crops - dates, onions and chillies and rice crop. The key focus will remain on adopting good agricultural practices for production, post-harvest handing and marketing of the selected crops. The project will be implemented in Khairpur, Hyderabad, Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Jacobabad, Badin, Kashmore, Kamber, Thatta, Shikarpur, Umarkot and Badin districts. The project will reach to approximately 112,000 farmers covering over 66,000 hectors. A substantive number of these farmers will be women involved in the agricultural processes on-farm for pre and post-harvest practices for the selected commodities.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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