USAID launches agriculture innovation programme
May 30, 2013
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) launched the Agricultural Innovation Program to expand the use of modern technologies in Pakistan’s agricultural sector.
“Boosting Pakistan’s economy is one of our top assistance priorities. Getting new and improved technologies and practices into farmers’ hands in the next few years will play a major role in helping Pakistan address agriculture needs that will enhance economic development in the country,” said USAID Country Director Jonathan M. Conly. USAID’s Agriculture Innovation Program aims to increase agricultural productivity and quality that will improve the quality for consumers and help create more jobs on farms throughout Pakistan.
Currently, Pakistan’s agricultural sector is a key part of Pakistan’s economy but it is not growing at a pace that meets its potential. “Pakistan’s agricultural productivity has fallen behind comparable countries with similar agro-ecologies,” said Thomas Lumpkin, Director General of CIMMYT. “There is a tremendous potential for growth, but we must act now.”
Shahid Masood, Member (Plant Sciences), PARC, said: “The project will develop a science-driven model to improve the livelihoods of Pakistan’s agricultural producers, and enable economic growth. The international and Pakistani partners involved in this effort are dedicated to the research, collaboration and investments that will ensure success.”
Through this new four-year $30 million project, USAID will sponsor research to encourage adoption of new technologies in agriculture. To date, 800,000 rural families have increased yields and started earning better incomes through USAID programs. News Network International